Frequent Questions

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We receive a lot of questions at LifeLinks. 

Whether there are certain programs in which you are interested, or you have questions about volunteering or a new career, or just have some general questions about how the program works and where to get more information, we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions for your convenience. If you do not find the answers you’re seeking, please give us a call at 978-349-3000

General Information

  • Q : What is LifeLinks?

    A : LifeLinks, Inc. is a private, non-profit human service agency headquartered in Chelmsford, MA that provides services and supports throughout the Greater Lowell area and parts of northeast Massachusetts for people with developmental disabilities 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

  • Q : Where is LifeLinks located?

    A : Our Administrative offices are located at 4 Omni Way in Chelmsford in the same location as our Day Habilitation Program.

  • Q : What are the office hours of operation?

    A : LifeLinks’ Administrative offices are open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:30 pm. The Day Habilitation Program is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 2:15 pm. Residential programs are open 24/7.

  • Q : What is the mission of LifeLinks?

    A : Since 1954, LifeLinks has provided services and supports to people who have an intellectual or developmental disability. Our founding families expressed a desire for all persons to experience a full life; this principle motivates us today to ensure that LifeLinks' homes, day services, and community supports are innovative, personalized and valued.

  • Q : What type of services does LifeLinks provide?

    A : Services include residential care, non-vocational day programs, shared living, independent living, family support and recreation activities.

  • Q : How long has LifeLinks been in business?

    A : LifeLinks was incorporated in 1954 as the ARC of Greater Lowell.

  • Q : Who is eligible to receive LifeLinks’ services and supports?

    A : Adults over the age of 22 with a developmental, intellectual, or cognitive disability may be eligible for LifeLinks’ services.

  • Q : How can I obtain services from LifeLinks?

    A : Individuals eligible for LifeLinks’ services must be referred through the local area office of the MA Department of Developmental Services located at 325 Chelmsford Street, Lowell MA 01851 or by calling 978-970-0223.

  • Q : How are LifeLinks programs funded?

    A : LifeLinks’ residential programs, community services, and family support center are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program is funded by Mass Health.

  • A : Download a volunteer application here and return the completed application to Nancy Downes, 4 Omni Way, Chelmsford MA 01824. For more information call 978-349-3010 or complete our contact form.

  • A : You may use your MasterCard, Visa, Discover or AMEX card with our secure online donation process or you may send your check directly to: Nancy Downes, LifeLinks, Inc., 4 Omni Way, Chelmsford MA 01824. LifeLinks is a 501 (c)3 organization – all donations are tax deductible to the extent of federal law.

  • Q : What types of volunteer opportunities are available at LifeLinks?

    A : We have volunteer opportunities for individuals and for groups looking to do volunteer service projects through their employer, service group, or place of worship and may include assistance at the annual holiday party, reading with individuals in our Day Program, providing sewing/mending services for group home residents, administrative tasks, and small maintenance projects.

Residential Programs

  • Q : What is a Group Home?

    A : In the Group Home residential model, 2 to 5 adults with developmental disabilities live in private homes, supported continuously by LifeLinks staff.

  • Q : Where are LifeLinks’ group homes located?

    A : LifeLinks maintains and operates 17 group homes, 24 /7 in neighborhoods throughout the Greater Lowell area in Lowell, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury and Westford.

  • Q : What level of care is provided in LifeLinks’ group homes?

    A : Each group home resident receives routine medical care by their own physician, dentist, or other medical specialist. And, a full time registered nurse regularly monitors the medical condition or needs of each individual living in a LifeLinks group home.

  • Q : How are LifeLinks’ group homes staffed?

    A : All direct care staff working in LifeLinks’ group homes are certified in CPR and First Aid and receive ongoing training on topics such as Medication Administration, Driver Safety, Physical Assistance, and Human Rights. Homes with residents that require more extensive medical care are staffed with Certified Nursing Assistants.

  • Q : What is Shared Living?

    A : In the Shared Living residential model, one or two individuals with developmental disabilities live in the home of a provider family.

  • Q : Who can become a LifeLinks Shared Living Provider?

    A : Shared Living providers encompass a wide variety of backgrounds and family types. Single adults, couples, families with children, or multi-generational families are considered.

  • Q : How is the quality of LifeLinks Residential Services rated?

    A : The quality of services to individuals served in LifeLinks’ residential programs are reviewed and certified by the Department of Developmental Services Office of Quality Enhancement (QUEST).

  • Q : How are Provider families and individuals matched?

    A : The heart of the LifeLinks Shared Living Program is the process of identifying and supporting mutually agreeable matches that meet the expressed needs, values and vision of the individual with disabilities, the family and/or guardian, and those of the Provider family. Once approved and matched with an individual, providers receive compensation for providing care and support.

  • Q : What is required to become a Shared Living Provider?

    A : Providers must undergo an in-depth evaluation by 2 Human Service professionals, successfully pass criminal background checks (CORI/SORI), submit to fingerprinting, provide references and participate in a family interview. They must have significant experience in the Human Service field and a demonstrated commitment to persons with disabilities. Providers must maintain certifications in CPR and First Aid and participate in home safety inspections.

  • Q : What type of support do Shared Living Providers receive from LifeLinks?

    A : Providers receive ongoing support from our professional Shared Living Team. Each month home visits are conducted to review financial and medical issues as well as community activities, respite needs and more. Provider Forums are held 4 times a year to network with peers and share ideas.

Day Habilitation Services

  • Q : What is a Day Habilitation Program?

    A : The LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program is a community-based program committed to helping people with developmental disabilities to increase and encourage their independence by offering a unique classroom model, with a diverse daily schedule of classes and activities that provide training and skill development in a fun, interactive environment. Services are geared to enhance the individual’s independence in many life skills areas.

  • Q : Where is the LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program located?

    A : Our program is located in a beautiful state-of-the art facility located at 285 Mill Road in Chelmsford MA. The site is handicapped accessible, meets all ADA standards, has large program and classroom areas, wide hallways, private rooms for personal care, fully interactive sensory rooms, a cafeteria and teaching kitchen, and a patio for outdoor activities and enjoyment.

  • Q : What are the program’s hours of operation?

    A : The LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program is and is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 2:15 pm.

  • Q : How is the LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program staffed?

    A : Each program room has a Program Manager, Developmental Specialist, and direct support staff – all trained to provide high quality and caring services to participants. All of our staff are CPR and First Aid certified and many have specialized training in behavior management, physical assistance, and sensory integration. Also on staff are a registered nurse, licensed practical nurses, a licensed and certified Speech and Language Pathologist, a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist, a licensed Physical Therapist, and a Behavioral Specialist.

  • Q : What types of clinical services are provided in the Day Habilitation Program?

    A : We provide on-site nursing services, speech and language therapy services, occupational therapy services, physical therapy services, and behavioral support services.

  • Q : What types of skills training is provided?

    A : Developmental skills training occurs in the following areas: Self-help development, sensorimotor development, communication development, social development, independent living skills, affective development, and behavior development.

  • Q : How is the quality of LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program rated?

    A : The LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), for Community Services: Community Integration. Providers that meet CARF standards have demonstrated their commitment to being among the best available.

  • Q : May I take a tour of the Day Habilitation Program?

    A : Yes! To arrange a tour, contact Shawn Nault, Director of Day Habilitation Services at 978-349-3080, complete our contact form, or send an email to

Community Services/Family Supports

  • Q : What types of community services are provided by LifeLinks?

    A : LifeLinks Community Services include the Independent Living Program, the Family Support Center, and the Medically Complex Program

  • Q : What is the Independent Living Program?

    A : The LifeLinks Independent Living Program provides supports for adults with developmental disabilities to live independently in the community in their own apartments or with a roommate.

  • Q : What types of supports are provided in the Independent Living Program?

    A : Case management staff provide individuals with valuable assistance and training on decision making, shopping, meal preparation, homemaking, money management, social skills, use of public transportation, and the planning of leisure activities. Case managers coordinate and monitor medical and dental care, oversee benefit plans (i.e. Mass Health, fuel assistance, housing subsidies, etc.) and act as liaisons with an individual’s employer, if necessary.

  • Q : What is the LifeLinks Family Support Center?

    A : The LifeLinks Family Support Center is a referral and support program for people with developmental disabilities, providing and recommending appropriate resources that will improve quality of life and stability within the home and community.

  • Q : Who is eligible for Family Support Center Services?

    A : The LifeLinks Family Support Center is available to help any Greater Lowell family with an individual with a developmental disability living at home with them.

  • Q : What type of information can the Family Support Center provide?

    A : The LifeLinks Family Support Center staff is highly trained to offer assistance with system navigation (i.e. Social Security, Mass Health etc.), educational planning (IEP), community resources, recreation, guardianship, respitality, finding caregivers, in-home support opportunities, equipment and supply needs.

  • Q : What other services does the Family Support Center provide?

    A : The LifeLinks Family Support Center has an extensive resource library, a monthly e-newsletter, and monthly training workshops on topics ranging from financial planning to transition into adulthood. The center also hosts family outings, support groups, and access to free recreational activities where families can meet other families.

  • Q : What is the Medically Complex Program?

    A : The Medically Complex Program supports families who have a child between the ages of 3 to 25 with severe medical disabilities. This program has a transitioning component that addresses children’s needs as they move from the school system into the adult system.

Other Services

  • Q : What is a Representative Payee?

    A : A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to receive Social Security and/or SSI benefits for someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage his or her money.

  • Q : What are the responsibilities of a representative payee?

    A : The main responsibilities of a payee are to use the benefits to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and properly save any benefits not needed to meet current needs. A payee must also keep records of expenses. When SSA requests a report, a payee must provide an accounting to SSA of how benefits were used or saved.

  • Q : What types of representative payee services does LifeLinks provide?

    A : LifeLinks offers support in managing finances for persons with developmental disabilities who cannot do so themselves or do not have anyone to assist them. These services include paying bills, filing reports with Social Security or Mass Health, and providing cash for small purchases.

  • Q : What is the cost for LifeLinks Representative Payee Services?

    A : The fee for this service is $41.00 per month.

Careers at LifeLinks

  • Q : What types of career opportunities are available at LifeLinks?

    A : LifeLinks offers employment opportunities in direct care, nursing, clinical services (occupational, physical, behavior therapy), administration, and program management

  • Q : What types of certifications are required for direct care positions at LifeLinks?

    A : All direct care applicants must have current CPR and First Aid certifications prior to employment at LifeLinks. For direct care positions in homes requiring certified nursing assistants, a current CNA certification is required.

  • A : Click the link above for current open positions at LifeLinks.

  • A : You may stop by our office at 285 Mill Road in Chelmsford, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to complete an employment application click the link above to go to our Career Page.

  • A : The LifeLinks Urban Youth Program (UYP) is a summer employment program that introduces young adults to employment through the various careers available in the field of Human Services. The LifeLinks Urban Youth Program provides well-paid summer employment, exposure to a career path, and a concurrent educational opportunity to earn 3 college credits. The program offers a broad range of opportunities and experiences to deepen understanding of the career options available in the field of disabilities, i.e. nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, direct support, & program management.

  • Q : Who is eligible to participate in the LifeLinks Summer Urban Youth Program?

    A : Students from the Greater Lowell area who have recently graduated from high school or who are currently enrolled in college are eligible to participate.

  • Q : When and where does the Summer Urban Youth Program take place?

    A : Participants in the LifeLinks Urban Youth Program work in the LifeLinks Day Habilitation Program 32.5 hours per week for eight weeks during the months of June, July and August and attend classes at Middlesex Community College.

  • Q : When may I apply for the LifeLinks Summer Urban Youth Program?

    A: Applications typically are taken in April and May and are available online.

  • Q : Does LifeLinks offer college internships?

    A : Yes, LifeLinks offers unpaid internship opportunities for qualifying students enrolled in Human Service degree programs at Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell.

  • Q : What types of training opportunities are available at LifeLinks?

    A : In addition to ongoing staff training in CPR, First Aid, Medication Administration, Fire Safety, and Driver Safety LifeLinks partners with UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College to enhance employee skills or introduce students to careers in Human Services through college internships and the summer Urban Youth Program.

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