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Tom's story

Tom was a retired dairy farmer in his early 90's who always took pride in being a hard worker. Throughout the years he was a strong advocate for innovative farming techniques and had the first milking parlor in the county.

Tom and his wife, Olive, raised seven children. After he become a widower, Tom depended on some of his adult children for assistance with showering, support with grocery shopping, and rides to church and medical appointments. He had some long-term effects of two hip fractures and used a walker to get around.

Tom wanted to stay in his home on the farm he operated for over 50 years and his children wanted him to as well. However, they were worried about how he would manage when the two who lived closest and helped the most went south for the winter. Tom had some funds to privately pay for services and wanted to know what might be available to help him stay at home.

Tom's family called the ADRC in Minnesota and connected with Sally, who was professionally trained in person and family-centered practice in a No Wrong Door System. Sally met with Tom and his son and daughter. She learned Tom was proud of being independent and wanted to remain so. Sally also learned Tom was well-liked in his community and many people were willing to help Tom to repay all of the times he and his wife helped them in the past. They discussed services he could pay for privately. The discussion also included coordinating informal assistance through family, friends, and neighbors to supplement paid supports. So, they created a plan.

Family, neighbors, and friends would drive Tom to appointments, grocery shopping, and church. Someone would stop by every day to check on Tom, bring baked goods, and visit/play cards. Paid supports consisted of Meals on Wheels and a personal care worker three times a week to help Tom shower. Sally made sure that everyone knew that she could return in case of any changes that might necessitate adjusting or adding supports.

The result of the plan? Tom was happy to remain in his home and have a support system in place that helped to keep him independent and safe and his children enjoyed peace of mind when they were away for the winter.

Veteran and Caregiver Experience

The VA is 100% behind me. They want me to stay in my home in safety and dignity

- Michael Adams (Veteran)

Doris's story

Doris is a 60 year old who lives in a two-story single family home with her 87-year-old mother, who is also her primary caregiver. Doris has diabetes, which resulted in six amputation-related surgeries that resulted in the loss of her leg above the knee.

She contacted Bob, a trained Person-Centered Counseling trainer, for assistance. During a home visit, Bob used the tools from the Person-Centered Counseling training to develop a relationship with Doris. He helped her identify what was important to and for her.

Doris told Bob that for the last eighteen months, she has not been able to leave her bedroom except to go by medical transport to doctor appointments. She spoke about her life when she was working in the field of substance abuse and general psychology.

She enjoyed technology and graphic design, being creative and spending most of her free time out in her yard crocheting things for her family. She is an amazing cook and baker. Doris's goal was to resume these activities. A major obstacle was her home. She was unable to use the kitchen, dining room, or living room and it was challenging to get outside except for medical appointments.

Doris and Bob initiated a plan to increase the accessibility. Doris has Medicare and Medicaid with limited financial resources. They agreed to seek a medical exemption to obtain a stair lift from the State Medicaid Division to improve accessibility within her home. With support and advocacy, the CT Medicaid Division granted a special medical exemption that allowed Medicaid dollars to pay for this device. Doris received approval and the stair lift was installed shortly thereafter.

Doris's home is on a hill with a large sloping front yard. A build in ramp to improve accessibility outside of the home would cost over $12,000. An alternate plan was pursued and Bob was able to secure funding from various sources to pay $4,000 dollars for an exterior lift that allows her to exit her home from the back deck.

Doris is now able to do all of the things that give her pleasure: crochet in her backyard, listen to the birds, socialize with her neighbors and enjoy the sunlight and fresh air that she was only able to view from her window.

For the first time in over two years Doris has her independence restored.