PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANT PROGRAM GIVES CONTROL TO ADULTS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES
“I’d be here anyway,” says Lenora’s sister, Liza, “but with the Personal Care Attendant Program and Rachel’s help, I don’t have to worry about missing work, or making ends meet. This is my job.”
Lenora, who at 54 years old, has been struggling with the impact that diabetes has had on her life, agrees, “Family is important to me. I wouldn’t want a stranger helping me with all the things I need help with. When it’s a close relative, you’re used to them. They understand more about you.”
Springwell Care Advisor Rachel Fried works with a number of adults, like Lenora, who are living with long-term disabilities and are enrolled in the Personal Care Attendant Program (PCA). PCA is a MassHealth program that helps adults over the age of 18 with long-term disabilities live independently at home, by providing them with the funds to hire and manage their own personal care attendant to help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and exercising.
Lenora was managing the decline in her health with the help of her close-knit family until she was hospitalized in February of 2013. Acute respiratory failure that resulted in a coma led to a long stay in both the hospital and a rehabilitation facility. The impact on her health left her unable to work, and the amount of daily care she needed was beyond the capabilities of her family. Her social worker suggested she call Springwell to see if she was eligible for the Personal Care Attendant Program, and that’s when Lenora met Rachel. After an initial assessment and application meeting, as well as a nursing screening to determine the level of service that would be covered, Lenora was enrolled.
“Rachel makes the program easy,” says Lenora, “There is a lot of paperwork, but she always highlights everything for me and double checks it to make sure it is right. We’ve never had any problems. And now I don’t have to feel like I’m asking for favors all the time. I can concentrate on my health and getting better.”
Photo caption: Springwell’s Rachel Freid (l) with Liza Llanos (r) and Lenora Lackiram (c)