Fred is a 49 year-old man who has been receiving waiver services since 1993. A family member explains that initially, “The Waiver” did not impact his life or the family’s life. She stated that because “The Waiver” was a new program in the community, Department of Health (DOH), the providers, the families, and individuals with developmental disabilities were trying to figure out how to utilize the program. She stated that initially, the old program did not construct a plan that fit Fred’s needs, instead, the services in the plan were based on the services he qualified for and could obtain. The plan was not a person-centered, person-driven plan, but rather more like an availability of service attainment plan.
As “The Waiver” became more stable and better defined, the services Fred received became more catered to his needs, wants, strengths and likes. The family stated that through the years, he has been able to increase his receipt of services to extend to six days a week, meaning the services could now be received on the weekend. Fred was able to engage in more social, life-fulfilling activities.
The most significant impact “The Waiver” has had on Fred and his family was during and after his hospitalization. Medicaid paid for all of his medical and hospital expenses and for the rehabilitative services needed after he was released from the hospital. The waiver services the family received were personal assistance services. These services allowed Fred to re-learn some of the personal living skills he had lost during his illness and hospitalization. He is now learning to live more independently again.
Receiving waiver services has allowed the family the time to continue to live their lives: work, children, significant others, etc. Fred is able to attend an Adult Day Health (ADH) program and he fully enjoys it! He gets “excited” about interacting with his peers and engaging in social activities. The “services have improved his quality of life.” He now has a “meaningful life.” He is “expressive” and “enjoys” life.
“The Waiver” has provided this family with more options and opportunities. They have more access to services and someone to coordinate them. The combination of a person-centered Individualized Service Plan (ISP), a competent case manager, and available necessary services are foundations for a successful waiver experience and improved quality of life.
The Planning Process
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