Laura, 83 years old, had been living safely in a small apartment in Lee, NH. She started out being completely independent and after an illness that affected her kidney function she became unable to drive. During her hospitalization the Social Workers began to plan for her discharge and processed her Medicaid application so that she would have options when she went home. It was evident that besides being unable to drive, Laura would require assistance with other daily activities in order to remain living at home. Laura has many medical issues including diabetes and depression, but the most important new development is her urostomy, which requires attention daily.
Laura became eligible for Medicaid and the Choices for Independence waiver and began to receive the support and services that helped her remain living safely in that same apartment. She had a personal care service provider that helped her with bathing and dressing as well as other activities such as shopping, laundry, cleaning and transportation.
Things were going well until Laura developed new medical issues that required hospitalization. She was released to a rehab to gain her strength back but it was obvious with this new turn of events that Laura could no longer live safely at home alone.
Laura has family that has supported her through all of these life changes and now thanks to a program offered by the State of NH, her family has become her solution.
Laura is currently enrolled in the Kinship Care program and has moved into the home of one of her daughters. Under this program, her daughter and her family now provide all services that Laura requires to remain living in the community and out of a high cost facility. Laura lives with her daughter and husband in a lovely home where she has her own personal space but also has access to the family and shared living spaces.
This arrangement is not always perfect but the family was adamant that they did not want their mother in a nursing home. They were willing to care for her but had the same issues that everyone in this economy faces – How do we stay home and provide care and give up our full time employment? Thanks to the Kinship Care program the family receives a tax free stipend that helps make this situation more feasible. It doesn’t replace their wages but it supplements their household income as they care for Laura.
Laura has the supervision and support that she needs and is able to be a real part of the family. Her quality of life has improved, she eats meals with the family, interacts with the grandchildren and enjoys being “at home”. She will tell you that she loves being here at home because she can keep to her own schedule, eat what she wants, contribute as she is able and that people still need her.
Moore Options for Seniors is proud to be one of the two pilot agencies that worked together with the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services to establish this program. We now offer the program to eligible participants across the entire state.