Submitted by Karen Miller, Senior Options Manager Lead
Lynn was first enrolled on PASSPORT Waiver May 2016. She was born with Cerebral Palsy and struggled most her life but was able to manage a mostly “normal” life. However, once her body began to fail her more frequently, she needed more assistance with everyday activities. PASSPORT Waiver was able to help her live a “normal” life with the assistance of aides to help with personal care and homemaking services. Home delivered meals because she couldn’t stand long enough most days to prepare her own meals. Nursing to assist with weekly medication set up. As well as an emergency response button to assist in calling for help should she fall or need emergency assistance. PASSPORT helped her to maintain living independently for 5 years and she was grateful.
However, eventually, her body began to fail her more and the Covid19 pandemic hit resulting in many missed aide visits due to illnesses and staffing issues. By January 2021, Lynn needed to go to a nursing facility for extensive therapy and to ensure she was able to get the personal care help she desperately needed. Lynn worked very hard with the nursing facilities therapy department to regain as much strength as possible for seven months with a few setbacks along the way. Under normal guidelines, Lynn would have been disenrolled from PASSPORT Waiver after 90 days if she wasn’t able to return to the community from the nursing facility. However, the Covid19 guidelines worked in her favor during this time. Those guidelines prevented her from being disenrolled from PASSPORT during the state of emergency.
Fast forward to July 2021, Lynn was stronger again now and really wanted to return to her own apartment. Unfortunately, due to the statewide staffing shortages of aides and the continued Covid 19 pandemic, she could no longer stay in her own apartment and take the chance of multiple missed aide visits leaving her without the daily help she would still need. Lynn’s PASSPORT Care Manager discussed Assisted Living options with Lynn. Although Lynn was hesitant at first, this is when the Assisted Living Waiver was able to help. Lynn applied for the Assisted Living Waiver and was enrolled July 2021. It was a rough adjustment in the beginning going from independently living in her own apartment, being in a nursing facility for 7 months, then moving back out in the community into an assisted living facility all in less than one year. Nevertheless, Lynn is thriving in the assisted living and again very happy and thankful to have the opportunity to be in the community, in her own apartment within the facility. At the assisted living, she has the personal care and homemaking assistance that she needs when it’s needed. She no longer worries about a missed aide’s visit. The assisted living provides her with 3 meals per day plus snacks. Lynn has made many new friends at the facility and loves participating in the activities with other residents. Group activities is something Lynn had not participated in at her previous apartment complex but at the assisted living, she looks forward to their daily crafts, games, and the socialization. She hopes to be able to remain in the community, on the Assisted Living Waiver, for many more years to come and states, “Without the Assisted Living Waiver, I would have been forced to stay in the nursing home but here, it’s even better than when I lived in the apartment building.”
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