Monthly Archives: August 2012

Getting Ready for 70%

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Going from the allocation of 31 hours of personal care to 113 hours of personal care hours takes a lot of planning.  First, obtaining commitment from Perry to switch jobs and come work for us full time took a few days, then settling on the schedule for the 3 aides took some time.  Then planning for contingencies and already scheduled time commitments elsewhere took time, delaying the start of Colin’s occupancy.  Colin will spend about 70% of his week at Colin’s Castle, Monday through Friday.  He will be picked up at our house on Monday mornings and return to our house Friday afternoon.  Of course we will spend a lot of time during the day visiting him to help with his transition.

I think that we are finally good to go, and the transition will take place as of next week.  We still have some loose ends to tie up like Colin’s Medication Administration Record and Plan, completion of necessary training, obtaining necessary records, compensation for the employees for expenses and transportation (which of course will not be covered by Colin’s Personal Care allocation), and how we are going to keep track of everything.

Thus far over the last three weeks Colin has stayed overnight at Colin’s Castle at least a couple of nights a week, and has seemed to do OK.  The real test will be when he has to stay without Pat or I there with him.  We should find out Tuesday AM how he does.

Paul has shipped Colin’s bed from Connecticut, and it should arrive mid-week.  I can’t wait to see it and set it up.  After it is set up I will take some photos and post on the Colin’s Castle facebook page.  Paul instructs me that if it doesn’t work out to burn it (made of old barn board), but I think that it will be just fine and a unique addition to Colin’s home.

As of right now we still have to utilize the third party Oxford Health, but we will continue to push for at least self-direction of services.  We have found our own staff and handle the schedule and deal with staff absences, so we are managing everything, not Oxford Health.  When will Alabama Department of Mental Health come around to our way of thinking?  Typical government bureaucracy.

We have cobbled Colin’s Castle’s funding together and will make it work until a better arrangement is realized.

Wish us luck!

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Good News/Bad News

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Today we learned that the DMH has increased our funding for Personal Care Hours.  This is great news as it will allow us to increase the number of hours covered at Colin’s Castle.  It is bad news in that the people who work for us will not get the greatest hourly wage.  We need to be allocated the equivalent dollars so that we can self direct and self manage the funds.  With self direction we would be able to pay our employees a better wage.  The reasoning is simple:  if you pay more you are more likely to get people who are loyal; you can attract better educated people.  Many times in the news you hear of group home workers or mental health workers who abuse and neglect their developmentally delayed clients, and if you look into who these people are, they most likely are people making minimum wage or transient workers.  We don’t want that for Colin.  We want people who will take care of him and love him and respect him, and stay with us for a long time,  It is really difficult to find people like that for minimum wage.  

We are thrilled to learn of the increase in funding, and now are scrambling to come up with a plan.  We will start to house Colin at Colin’s Castle several nights a week as well as every weekday.  We will need to find another employee to cover some of the hours.  And we will continue to work on obtaining more control over how the money is spent.  For now though, it is a major step ahead towards the eventual plan for Colin and Colin’s Castle.

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