Question: There’s an elderly lady at my church who could really use a little bit of help at home, like some cooking and cleaning. She won’t let any of us help her and she doesn’t have family nearby. Are there any other options? Oh, and she won’t consider going into assisted living.
Answer: Colorado has a waiver for an extra set of Health First Colorado (Medicaid) benefits your friend may qualify for. These benefits can help people stay in their homes and communities. The Home and Community Based Services waiver (HCBS) is a Medicaid program that, in general, provides assistance with skill development, respite, transportation and other services to support those in need of long-term services, like elderly, blind or disabled persons; for people 65 and older who have a functional impairment (like arthritis, etc.) or are blind; and more. Learn more at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing at tinyurl.com/yyxajj7p. Apply at the Teller County Department of Human Services, 687-3335, co.teller.co.us/DHS.
Having said that, there’s a serious shortage of caregivers for the HCBS-LTC program in Teller County. There are numerous agencies in Colorado Springs, and some travel as far as Woodland Park, but the south and southwest areas are underserved. Those interested in flexible hours and satisfying work that makes a difference in people’s lives may consider contacting a home care agency to apply.
Some (not all) we’ve worked with are: Comfort Keepers, 522-9100; Envida Home Services, 205-9027; The Independence Center, 471-8181; Interim Healthcare, 632-9594; Kind Heart Home Health, 622-1708; and Seniors Helping Seniors, 629-7725. These agencies provide in-home non-skilled services including homemaking, personal care, companionship, errands, light meal preparation and transportation. If you have a friend or neighbor you are already doing these services for, you may be able to be paid to do so. Please learn more; it is a vital service and more Teller county residents are aging every day who need assistance.
Rebecca Blair is a Senior Advocate at the Community of Caring Foundation Aspen Mine Center. Contact her with questions on senior living in Teller County at email@example.com or 689-3584, ext. 101.