As my friends and I approach the “mid-life point,” I can see our bodies beginning to break down, especially those of us who were athletes. One friend is battling cancer (not very well either unfortunately), one is about to have her fourth back surgery, and I have suffered from chronic pain for many years, now having to take medications like Gabapentin and Cyclobenzaprine just to be able to move.
However, my old sports and adventure-seeking injuries, as well as extreme nerve pain lately, have recently rendered me disabled on a few occasions, which made me think about how I may not be too far off in starting to plan and save for in-home healthcare services, especially within my home state of Michigan.
Thankfully, Michigan has a few programs in place to help our aging and disabled populations. For example, through the MI Choice Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver, Medicaid pays for home care services in an individual’s home. The program is available to both older adults (65 and older) and younger people with physical disabilities. Furthermore, additional services like adult day services or transportation will be provided if needed.
Services like these are paid for by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Some reputable in-home care professional services in Michigan offer a menu of care and services that are specifically designed to meet the needs of two types of clients: The elderly, including those suffering from memory-related illnesses, and the seriously injured – individuals of all ages requiring care and rehabilitation after suffering an incapacitating illness or injury, including those coping with the aftermath of a brain or spinal cord injury.
Here is a sample list of possible offerings depending on the in-home care company:
Medical Care – should be provided by Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)*
- Medication Set-Up
- Medication Management
- Oxygen Management
- Intravenous (IV) Infusion Care
- Ventilator Care
- Wound Care (my mom received this care while she had a deep sore on her foot)
- Elder Care Michigan Rehabilitation Services – should be provided by licensed Physical Therapists (PTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs)
Occupational Therapy Home Evaluations
- Advanced Range of Motion
- Cognitive Therapy
- Medical Device Training
- Home Exercise Programs
- Elder Care Nutritional Services – should be provided by Registered Dietitians (RDs)
- Education and Training
- Meal Planning and Tracking
- Nutritional Therapy
- Elder Practical Care – home helper services should be provided by caregivers, including trained Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aids (HHAs)
Personal Care (Bathing, Dressing and Toileting)
- Light Housekeeping
- Meal Preparation
- Respite for Family
- Live-In Care
- Concierge Services, including:
- Grocery Shopping
- Dog Walking
- Services as requested
Elder Hospice Supplementation Care – caregivers can step in to supplement scheduled hospice team visits
- Caregivers experienced with end-of-life care
- Providing up to 24 hours of care daily
- Offering services detailed in the client’s care plan that may not be available through hospice
What is home help program in Michigan?
The Home Help program is administered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). It provides personal care services to individuals needing hands-on assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).
According to the Home Help program, their goals are:
- To encourage and support the client’s right and responsibility to make informed choices.
- To provide timely, quality assessments and approvals, ensuring the necessary supports are offered to assist the client to live independently and with dignity.
- To recognize and encourage the client’s natural support system.
- To empower the client to manage their services, respecting the client’s right to determine what services are necessary, when they are completed, and how they are performed.
- To provide resources to enable client self-advocacy.
Does the state of Michigan pay for caregivers?
Okay, so let’s take, for example, when my mom was disabled at only fifty-six years old. As a direct result of her diabetes, she had retinopathy, which caused a loss of vision and, thus, a loss of her driving privileges. Not only was this a big blow to her independence but also to her self-esteem. She now had to rely on others for help in her daily living.
She was used to being an independent, modern woman who raised her only child alone, with no financial help from the absent father, ran a successful contracting company that specialized in fire restoration and disaster recovery, and on a daily basis, gave back to her community in so many ways from teaching reading literacy to children and adults to caring for her own aging parents until their time came to pass on.
Thankfully, when my mom was deemed disabled, I was working strictly from home in my digital marketing profession. We lived close by, and my children were babies then, so I was available to help. Each morning, we would pick “Nana” up from her house and bring her to ours so she could help me in the caregiving of her two “precious grandsons” – as she affectionately referred to them.
Over time, her disease progressed, and she now needed our help in her day-to-day care. Grateful that the State of Michigan offers us caregivers (Friends and family members except for parents and spouses) pay for the care they provide as well as gas money for mileage driven to medical appointments. The individual works with the county case manager to determine the appropriate amount of care and is then granted a budget for care instead of receiving services directly from the state.
Sadly, my mother passed away the day before our meeting with her social worker to begin receiving benefits. Although, in the long run, she never wanted to live in a nursing home, and with the acceleration of her diabetes, that is most likely where she would have ended up, only to bypass the dignified option of in-home care. Hence, my recent concern for setting up care for myself as I age.
Home help care services
In conclusion, as we navigate life’s ups and downs, our bodies inevitably may not always cooperate as we would like. Whether battling cancer, managing chronic pain, or recovering from a sports injury, the need for in-home care services becomes all too real.
So, as we face the uncertainties of aging and the possibility of needing assistance down the road, let’s remember that in-home care is a viable option that allows us to maintain our independence and dignity. By embracing the available resources and planning for the future, we can follow in the footsteps of those who came before us, like my remarkable mother, who taught us the importance of living life on our own terms.