Taking care of a disabled adult child or any family member, for that matter, is going to be challenging. Even though there are millions of people across the United States doing this very thing, not all of them are enjoying the support they once had through Medicare and Medicaid Services. One such family are the Hargetts. Nathaniel Hargett, 38, recently underwent surgery for the 109th time and his mother has been his primary caregiver for a long time.
However, she was recently informed that the number of hours Nathaniel will be allotted is being cut by 40 percent, even though his condition has not improved. In fact, according to Cheryl Hargett, it’s grown worse and more complicated. Nathaniel is dealing with hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, deafness, and other chronic disorders.
Cheryl is worried about how these cuts are going to affect her ability to care for him and what might be done to help.
According to KKTV 11 News out of Colorado Springs, in the news article, Mom Says Home Health Care Hours Cut, written by Betty Sexton:
“Cheryl [Hargett] says, “It’s money for someone to come in and help take care of him, to help him with skilled care, to do the things that he cannot do for himself that someone else needs to do for him and with him.”
Patricia Yeager is the CEO of the nonprofit group, The Independence Center, which provides home health care and advocates for the disabled community. She says, “There are lots of other people in this boat.”
Her goal, helping the disabled live at home with their families, rather than nursing homes. She says this year her agency has seen 9 severely disabled El Paso County patients get their home health care hours cut, one by as much as 75%, when their conditions did not improve.”
Patricia Yeager says that even though her agency provides in home care support throughout a number of other Colorado counties, she has only heard of cuts like this happening in El Paso County. Rocky Mountain Options for Long-Term Care makes these determinations through assessments, and is the only private Medicaid contractor in the region that does so, and the executive director (Abbey Walda) does not agree with Ms. Yeager’s assessment.
Abbey Walda claims that most clients actually saw a boost in the number of hours allotted to them during a recent assessment, but also acknowledges that they have a backlog of cases to review and are willing to re-review some that may have been overlooked properly.