Evelyn,* 76, has been receiving long term services and supports through MSSP since 2007. She has a number of chronic health conditions including Type-2 diabetes and asthma. She has also had several surgeries on her hips, knees and ankles, which means that she is dependent on a walker or wheel chair to move around. Evelyn’s daughter, Barbara, is her primary caregiver. She is currently living with Evelyn in an affordable apartment community in Los Angeles.
Evelyn receives a visit from a MSSP care manager every three months, with a check-in phone call at least once a month.
“This program has been a very big help because I have no income apart from social security and that’s not very much,” explains Evelyn, who worked for many years as a cook at a local Mexican fast-food restaurant. “They help me get stuff that I need. They got me a seat for the bathroom, and a handle for the bathtub so I can get in and out, and a new shower head, because mine was all rusted up.”
Barbara agrees, adding, “The care manager comes in and evaluates her and talks to her about things she needs. The service is really good. We’d have struggled to find the money for many of the things she’s got from the program. It helps with my peace of mind that I can call and get things done.”
Evelyn, who has five children of her own, was also a foster parent to several children. After a life caring for others she’s grateful to have a care giving resource that she feels she can now rely on. “These care managers, they become like family,” she says, smiling. “They’re all very nice and willing to help. One day two fans turn up on my doorstep, and I had no idea where they came from. So I’m asking around and calling people I know and no-one knew, and then my care manager, Andrew, who had just moved to another job, he called and said, did you get the fans? I was so pleased because I didn’t think he would be concerned about me anymore, but he was and I’ll tell you, those fans are a godsend because it gets very hot in here.”
The MSSP has also provided Evelyn with a push button emergency system in case of a fall or other critical issue. “I wear this button around my neck all the time. It makes me feel safer,” she says. “Except she won’t take the emergency button off, so sometimes she rolls on it in her sleep and sets the thing off and all I can hear is Emergency! Emergency!” laughs Barbara. “It definitely keeps me on my toes!”
*Not client’s real name