Home Sweet Home

 

During a routine monitoring visit, CLOP Ombudsman Christy Cormier found one of her former group home residents had returned to the group home.  Two years prior, Christy found she was removed from the Request for Services Registry in error and worked with the local LGE to have her offer reissued. Tammy accepted the New Opportunities Waiver and moved into her own apartment in October of 2016.  Tammy elected to have a feeding tube placed due to some challenges with swallowing and choking and was told she would have to move back into a group home.  She felt like she had no other option and chose her health over living in her own apartment with supports.

Once Christy explained it was possible for her to live in her own apartment even with the feeding tube, Tammy requested help from Christy to return to her apartment.  After contacting the local LGE’s waiver unit it was discovered that Tammy had not yet signed a declination of services for her waiver but her annual plan of care was due in just six weeks or services would automatically be terminated.  With the help of Tammy’s Support Coordinator, Christy and Tammy were able to come up with a list of options for Tammy to resume her waiver supports and get back to her apartment.  Tammy was willing to switch providers if necessary, but her main wish was to stay with her current provider and the staff she had grown to consider as family.

Initially, Tammy’s provider stated they could not provided the needed services, stating Tammy would need a licensed nurse.  It was clear to Christy they did not fully understand rules in regards to the establishment of a feeding tube and what services could be delegated by the company’s nurse to direct support staff.  With the help of the local LGE’s waiver unit staff, support coordination, and OCDD’s Health Standards Section, Christy was able to educate the provider and negotiate successfully on behalf of Tammy.  The provider agreed to keep her on as a waiver client after educating their corporate office.  Tammy was able to move out of the group home once again and return to her apartment and roommate.

“It was just pure luck that I visited that particular group home at just the right time for everything to fall into place.  A week or two later would have made things almost impossible time wise for Tammy to get back to her apartment” says Christy  “It was a team effort by all parties.  Everyone was heartbroken when she moved back to the group home.  We had all worked so hard to get her out in the first place and for that life long dream to just go away with the need for a feeding tube really had everyone feeling helpless.  My daughter had a feeding tube for the first 5 years of her life and I knew that alone didn’t assign the need for 24 hour skilled nursing or direct care.  When I explained the possibility to Tammy and she started to cry tears of joy I knew she may face some challenges finding a provider to accept her but I wasn’t going to give up on her current provider because they had been like family to her for so long.”

 

Tammy moved back in her apartment with her roommate just days before her plan of care was due for its annual certification.  Her staff has been trained on how to bolus feed and care for her tube site. Tammy’s roommate is very excited to have her back in the home and says it was lonely and she missed her very much while she was gone.  Tammy’s smile says it all.  When asked what she wanted included in this story, she said “Thank You” and pointed to a sign above her bed that reads: Home Sweet Home.