Communicated: For the last two years, my siblings and I have been struggling to find resources that would enable our mother to be properly cared for in her home. That was until we found NHTD.
For the last two years, my siblings and I have been struggling to find resources that would enable our mother to be properly cared for in her home. My mother is very forgetful, and the idea of leaving her alone was not an option for my siblings and I. We spent the last two years completely revolving our schedules around our mother to ensure she always had someone with her. Medicaid only approved her for 5 hours a day of Home Health Aide services, so we were left rotating our children, or paying aides out of pocket to ensure our mom had the care she needed. On Shabbosim and Yomim Tovim, my local siblings and I would alternate hosting her. Planning family vacations or going away for Simchas became increasingly difficult, and frankly almost impossible.
Unfortunately, tasks that would have once been completed simply and independently, our mother could no longer do on her own and now required extensive assistance. If she had an appointment, one of my siblings or I would have to clear our day. Our mother is an extremely positive person and though she can sometimes seem a bit disconnected from the present, she seemed to be picking up on the stress we were all experiencing. After all, my sibling and I are all married with somewhere between 5-9 children, and balancing their schedules, in addition to making sure our mom was cared for sufficiently, was not an easy task. Nevertheless, it was important to us that our mother felt nothing but love, and certainly not like a burden.
Since the beginning of 2020, we have been fighting with our mother’s insurance plan to try to increase her hours, but after about 8 months of constant headaches and rejection, we knew it was a dead end. For the next couple of months, we fell back into our old routine and accepted that there was no alternative. “Maybe this is just what people in our situation are forced to do.”
It wasn’t until Sukkos came around, that I received a call from my brother. He hosted an old friend for one of the Sukkos meals, and they got to talking about their shared struggle of caring for elderly parents. His friend mentioned that six months back, his family was considering nursing home placement for their father, as they just felt like they were not capable of providing the care that he needed. His guest went on to explain that through his research he uncovered a Medicaid-funded program that was created especially for elderly patients who require 24-hour care at home, in order to prevent nursing home placement from occurring. I hung up the phone and began my search.
I googled 4 letters. NHTD. Just 10 minutes into my search and I knew this is exactly what we needed. The program is completely Medicaid funded, and was created for the geriatric population who were experiencing cognitive decline, and could no longer be left alone. The program also claimed to offer all of the same services our mother was currently receiving from her insurance plan, including transportation, a personal case manager, and supplies. The program sounded too good to be true, but I wanted to find out more. I called the agency our friends were using and spoke with the director of the program. She walked me through the process, and I followed her instructions that same day. Fast forward, my mother receives care 24/7. She has an aide during the day shift, who switches with another aide for the night shift and it continues the same way every day. We were able to voice our specifications of who the aides would be, according to my mother’s preferences. We also have a case manager who schedules all of my mother’s appointments and helps us arrange transportation.
We have been receiving services through the NHTD waiver program for about 6 months now, and I knew I needed to share this resource. I wish I would have read an article like this two years ago, but I am grateful to have found it and hope this will provide that relief for others who are also struggling. With permission, I have attached the contact information for the liaison who assisted us with the enrollment process and was there for all our questions throughout.
For more information, please contact: Esty Komarovsky – [email protected] – NHTD Waiver Program Director at Anchor Health Home Care Services.