Making an Impact: Care Coordinator Secures Budget Exception for Client

In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand the lives they touch and the difference they make throughout the community. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

JFS care coordination client “Diane” was a small, frail, elderly woman who lived in a large home with her son. She was in a wheelchair, not able to walk up the stairs of the house to get to the bathroom with a bathtub.

Her son called her JFS care coordinator to see if there was any funding for him to create a larger bathroom with a tub on the main level of his home. The current room was a very small bathroom and would need major renovation that would cost far more than what funds were available for her. He was carrying his mother up the stairs at least once a week so she could bathe. In between, she would wash up at the kitchen sink on the main level. When the son learned of the budget limits for people on elderly waivers, he decided to just keep carrying her up to the bathroom and continue to search for affordable ways to install a bathtub on the main level of his home.

After some time, the son called again. He had broken his ankle and could no longer carry mom up the stairs. Was there anything JFS could do to help? The care coordinator discussed the installation of a chair lift with the son. He agreed, and the task began to find an approved dealer who could bill for someone on elderly waiver. A reputable company was identified, and the care coordinator wrote a benefit exception request for the insurance provider, a process social workers can utilize for critical care that is beyond elderly waiver budgets.

The request was granted, and the chair lift was installed. Diane and her son invited the care coordinator to their home. When she arrived, Diane was waiting in her wheelchair at the base of the chair lift. Her son transferred her into the lift chair and adjusted the seat belt for safety. Diane pushed a button and away she went, moving slowly up the stairs and smiling the whole way. She was literally beaming. There was another chair waiting at the top for her to be moved into the bathroom where she could take a bath without being carried up the stairs.