Archive for December 6th, 2007

The Mental Health Mess

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Great article I just found:

The mental-health mess. (failure of federal and state government policies to help mentally ill people)

by E. Fuller Torrey.

My Son Gets Visitors?

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

This new personal care home that my son moved into last Saturday is the first SOURCE-funded personal care home he has lived in. Maybe I need to define a few terms here first. A personal care home is a facility kind of like the assisted-living homes you may have heard of for the elderly. Assisted living requires more independence on the part of its residents than a nursing home would. Typically, personal care homes are full of the elderly. Typically, near where we live, the personal care homes are houses in regular neighborhoods. There may be between three to six residents. A staff person may live there with them, or staff people come and go. The staff do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, and administer medication. A resident may have a private room or roomates. Residents watch TV all day and go on walks. Smoking is allowed outdoors. That is my definition of a personal care home.

SOURCE, from what I understand, is government money to pay for needs of certain indigent persons. I believe my son qualified because his only income is his SSI (Social Security disability) money of $623 a month. A cheap personal care home will typically cost $1200 a month. SOURCE pays for his personal care home, except for $528, which he must pay for out of his pocket. I really do not understand all of this governmental regulation and la-di-da, but I have heard a few people say that my son gets a Medicaid waiver also, as it relates to his housing, whatever that means.

SOURCE, I have been told, is not a program that was originally intended for the mentally ill, but it is meant for the elderly.

Somebody please comment below if I have gotten it all wrong. I try to ask questions to try to relate to all of this stuff, but most of the time it is a muddle. 

So, getting back to this post headline, my son tells me he has had 2 visits this week so far. He had to do paperwork with them. This is kind of scary, because he is a little naive about certain things. Then again, sometimes he is so paranoid, he balks at ordinary paperwork. He did say that the one person who came was a “specialist surveyor” with the personal care home program. It sounds like a state inspector to me. The other visitor was a nurse who took his blood pressure. This nurse I was expecting because I was told that SOURCE homes have a nurse that comes twice a month to do that and ask questions about medication compliance or whatever.

I like to keep closer tabs on DS, but with him living an hour away from my home, it feels very difficult. Of course, none of these people call me to tell me who they are or what they are doing. DS is an adult, and even though in some matters he needs help, he is expected to deal with them on his own.

So far this is a quiet week. No complaints from DS or CA, the woman who watches him.