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An Hour Conversation Changes Two Lives

Submitted by: Maria Suhr, Care Manager Covid-19 affected everyone in a different way. Dee contracted Covid-19 and was very ill and stayed in a skilled nursing facility for about 3 months. Her ability to walk long distances took a long time to come back. This was a lady who was used to getting out and about, driving to the grocery, getting her hair done and seeing friends. During her stay at the nursing facility, she and her daughter learned about Medicaid and the Passport Waiver Program. Her initial assessment was done while she was in the facility. Dee came home and it was hard for her. Very hard. Not only was she still very weak, but every month Dee would come out on the negative side of her checkbook. She was paying for some insurances that she needed before she came on to Medicaid and was about $20 in the hole every month. Her family was buying her groceries, and paying for her to have her hair done. Dee felt defeated and embarrassed about all this and worried constantly. Area Agency on Aging 3 Case Manager Maria Suhr went to see Dee for her initial visit and her daughter was present. In a small town everyone knows everyone and Maria knew Dee’s daughter. Lots of hugging and catching up took place and Dee was visibly more relaxed when she knew that her care manager knew her daughter. A conversation took place where Maria, Dee and her daughter discussed what she really would need to be able to stay in her home. Home Delivered Meals and a Home Health Aide were the first orders of business. Dee and her daughter were educated that Medicaid would pay for incontinent products. An order from Dee’s physician would be obtained for a transport chair to help Dee when she went out and a tub bench. Dee also brought up that she had a supplemental to her Medicare that she was paying a lot of money for. Maria and Dee’s daughter discussed with her the fact that she now had Medicaid and this policy was not really needed. Dee did not really trust that information so Maria was able to give Dee and her daughter some information to look at online. A few days later Dee was able to cancel that policy and put a few more dollars in her pocket! Since that initial visit Dee tells Maria that her life has changed. She receives her Home Delivered Meals every week and this has really taken a lot off of her mind as she does not have to figure out how to get to the grocery and how much money groceries cost. She told Maria that she is so much more relaxed because she does not have to call her family and ask them to help out financially. She loves her transport chair and this has made it much easier for Dee when she goes out to appointments or with her family. And her home health aide knows her granddaughter, so there was an instant bond when they first met! Dee really enjoys the time when her aide comes. Dee is visibly more relaxed compared to when she first came home. Dee’s daughter is so grateful that they learned about the Passport Waiver Program and that her mother has less stress as does she. An hour conversation changed two lives and how fantastic is that?

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