On February 17, North Carolina state Representative Dean Arp visited a Union County man who relies on services to stay safe at home.

Rep. Arp visited with a constituent, Mr. James Jones, receiving services under the Medicaid Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults (CAP-DA). He is a 58-year-old southern gentleman with a great sense of humor. Prior to his stroke some 10 years ago, he worked as a heating and air mechanic providing for his family and himself. Jones and Representative Arp, an engineer, connected over service manuals and retelling challenging service calls that Jones was able to figure out.

Jones’ sister, Becky Jackson, lives some 60 miles away, but she is actively engaged in his life. Several weeks ago during a cold spell, Jones’ heating went out and Becky came to help. Jones insisted they fix it together. “His brains, my hands,” said Becky, as her brother instructed her on how to fix the furnace. Mr. Jones lives alone. His multiple chronic medical conditions, partial blindness, and paralysis make it difficult for him to manage alone and put him at a high risk of falling and institutionalization. Brenna Cripe, his certified nursing assistant (CNA) comes almost every day for three hours to help him bathe, toilet, and dress, and to monitor his blood pressure, weight, and sugar levels. “My goal is to help Mr. Jones stay as independent as possible. Make sure he doesn’t fall or get an infection that can put him in the hospital,” said Cripe. “I also make sure he gets something to eat.” Brenna has been his caregiver since 2012 when he was admitted to BAYADA for services.

CAP-DA provides services to individuals, who qualify for and are at risk of institutionalization, based on their medical condition and family situation. In 2016, there were 12,049 disabled adults and seniors under CAP-DA receiving aide services at an average monthly cost of $1,491, compared to the monthly average Medicaid nursing facility cost of $4,980. This program provides one-on-one care by certified nursing assistants supervised by a nurse, under the care of a physician.“Aide services are the foundation of home care. It allows families to stay together and be safe at home. It gives the state more for less, and is clearly part of the health care budget solution” said BAYADA Division Director Joe Seidel.

"Home care providers not only compete with hospitals and nursing homes for quality staff, but also with retail and food services.“ said BAYADA Area Director of Government Affairs Lee Dobson. “Hundreds of authorized hours go unstaffed, putting individuals like Mr. Jones at risk because providers can’t find the staff."

“As we look towards Medicaid reform, we must find ways to stretch our dollar," said Representative Arp. "Home care helps do that for North Carolina and helps keep people in their own homes.”

 Click here to see more photos from the visit.

BAYADA’s advocacy program, Hearts for Home Care, allows home care patients and their families to share stories like this one with their legislators. Sign up today at www.heartsforhomecare.com.

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