South Coast Prime Times July–August 2018

Page 24


Paul Palange

Many people, especially baby boomers, are thrust into the role of caring for aging relatives or friends, which can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging. To avoid burning out or draining bank accounts, caregivers should never be reluctant to seek assistance, even when it comes to money.

‘We take a lot

of pride in the personalized service we offer, which is difficult to deliver in large agencies where you are sometimes just a number’ 22

S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

J uly /A ugust 2018

Preferred Residential Network (PRN) in Fall River can help caregivers in the South Coast access funds through a state-administered program if the person needing assistance or elder being tended to is eligible for MassHealth. PRN owner Bob Gaw said he was previously hired as a consultant to start seven other adult care programs, and that the Massachusetts Adult Foster Care Program “is a very valuable service.” According to Gaw, many people are unaware that such assistance is available for seniors who want to age in place with their caregivers. According to Gaw, MassHealth will compensate a caregiver between $600 and $1,650 per month if he or she has a relative or friend who needs help with an activity of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring from a chair or bed or toileting. Also, the caregiver must live with the person being cared for, and that person cannot be left alone for more than three hours per day. PRN will help caregivers determine if they qualify for the program, Gaw said, explaining that a PRN nurse and social worker will guide them through the process. After someone qualifies, PRN establishes a comprehensive care plan and then the company’s licensed social worker and registered nurse monitor the arrangement to ensure “the care is being delivered and the client is properly taken care of,” he said. Gaw said that “the program is designed to keep people out of long-term care facilities and living in the comfort of their home”. “I know the name of every client, and I have visited every client,” said Gaw, who also serves as the director of operations for PRN. “We take a lot of pride in the personalized service we offer, which is difficult to deliver in large agencies where you are sometimes just a number. I was born and educated locally and get a lot of satisfaction in helping my friends in the South Coast. My son and I also operate another PRN that occupies over 25,000 square feet in a Fall River mill where we recondition medical equipment. Some of this equipment is sold in the US for parts and much is exported to countries where our out of date equipment is state of the art.” Preferred Adult Foster Care, Inc. is approved to provide services by the Department of Elder Affairs. To contact PRN at 218 Shove Street in Fall River, call 508-677-9613 or email Gaw at prnafc@ The company’s website is

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