Paula Whitley and Rhonda Welch presented a program outlining the services available from Choice Care. Their program is available to Medicaid "consumers", (as they prefer to call the recipients of their care). Choice Care attempts to keep patients functioning in their home, with non-medical assistance provided by a caregiver employed by Choice Care. These services are fully paid for by the state, and cost the consumer nothing.
Caregivers can be a family member, neighbor, or friend, but not a spouse. They are trained by Choice Care in basic first aid and CPR. Non-medical assistance includes meal preparation, household services (light housekeeping--not window washing!), eating, driving to and from appointments, hygiene, mobility assistance, skin care, etc. They are not allowed to give medication, but can prompt the consumer to take medication in a timely manner. Hours vary, and are determined by the state based on the needs of the patient. More than one caregiver may be employed if necessary.
Certain requirements must be met by caregivers. They must pass a criminal background check and have a TB test. They also must pass a basic competency test. Monthly inspections are held to ensure the standards of Choice Care are being upheld.
Rhonda and Paula seemed quite eager to be of assistance to any HD patient eligible for their program. To contact Paula or Rhonda, call 505-255-4971.
We thank Paula and Rhonda for coming to our NM HDSG meeting!