It is no secret that the Covid-19 outbreak presents worrisome and sometimes overwhelming obstacles for individuals in the community who have a disability. Some may experience anxiety about bill payments, or the cost of ensuring they have an appropriate amount of medical supplies and necessary prescription medications on hand. Many are facing program cancellations, reduced available in-home services, and the emotional impact of social distancing.
Now, more than ever, Arcare is dedicated to ensuring our clients are receiving the necessary care and support they need during this difficult time.
Arcare’s Representative Payee program offers financial peace of mind to enrolled clients by continuing to ensure that financial obligations are met in a timely manner. Payee services are often utilized by clients who have difficulties paying bills and managing a household budget. Arcare’s Payee Program staff works with each individual client to create a monthly budget to prioritize the basic needs of food and shelter expenses. Arcare staff manages the payment of these expenses. On a weekly or monthly basis, Arcare puts money on a bank cash card for the beneficiary to use for spending and groceries. Staff also work closely with each individual and/or the individual’s case manager as needed.
For clients who are beneficiaries of an Arcare special needs trust, Arcare’s staff manages and processes requests for disbursement from the trust to enhance the individual’s quality of life. These disbursements are for items or services not typically covered by insurance, public benefits, or considered a shelter expense (food, rent, most utilities). A few examples include paying for internet services to keep clients connected to their friends and family during social distancing, paying for necessary medical equipment for clients to use in their homes if not covered by another source, pet care and supplies, and any medical, nursing, or dental care not covered by another source.
Life Care Plan client support
Many of Arcare’s Life Care Plan clients receive services in their homes or day center through community service providers. Due to the severity of Covid-19, some day services have been suspended in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Individuals who usually receive services at a day center are now being served in their homes. Because this creates a staffing strain on community service agencies, Arcare’s Life Care Plan staff keep in constant contact with providers in order to ensure clients’ individual needs are being met. In addition, Arcare staff continue monitoring each client’s living, working, and healthcare environments. Information gathered by Arcare staff is communicated regularly with the community service providers in an effort to identify and address potential issues before they become crises.
In the unfortunate event of a Life Care Plan client requiring hospitalization, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and state Medicaid agency restrictions often inhibit the regular community service provider from continuing services while the individual is hospitalized. After discharge from the hospital, some clients need skilled rehabilitation services before successfully transitioning back into their homes and community-based service programs. Arcare bridges the service and communication gap between hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and community service providers by continually monitoring, reporting, advocating, and keeping complete records for our clients. With Arcare’s assistance and continual communication with providers, Life Care Plan clients can seamlessly transition back into their homes and the community with the necessary care and services they require.
For Life Care Plan clients who may not have day services, Arcare helps address how these individuals continue to meet the needs of daily living, including access to food, in-home support, and having sufficient prescription medications on-hand. Additionally, Arcare staff educate and remind our clients about proper handwashing techniques, provide them with up to date resources on how to stay safe at home, and connect clients with additional community resources if necessary. With the help of Arcare, our clients can continue receiving the help that they need while maintaining a safe and healthy home environment.
Perhaps one of the most prevalent concerns our clients face at this time is social isolation. Arcare’s Life Care Plan staff contact clients regularly to appropriately prevent and address feelings of isolation and the anxiety that isolation may cause. At this time, meetings with clients take place over the phone or web-based video conferencing, if available. In addition to these efforts, Arcare can appropriately communicate with service providers our isolation concerns and advocate for providers to assist clients with contacting their friends and family by phone, video calls, and social media.
Individuals with disabilities in our community are experiencing unprecedented challenges during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Together, with families and the support of community service providers and agencies, Arcare will continue to provide essential services and assist clients in achieving his or her highest level of well-being.