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News and Opinions about MS, Health & Disability

MS Brothers Able to Remain at Home Thanks to Caregiving Support

on September 26, 2016
 Continuing to live in your own home when you can no longer look after yourself is an ideal many people seek to aspire to – but it’s not easy. Outside help is often needed.

Alex Camarillo is one perfect example of this. He is 35 years old, has severe multiple sclerosis, and lives at home in South Bend, Indiana, where he is cared for by his brother Danny, who is in his late 30s.

The brothers could not live in the way that they do without the benefit of the support they receive from a dedicated care team from Caregiver Homes.

Danny told me: “I was put in contact with Caregiver Homes through Real Services. I think this is a very valuable company with a lot of resources.  It is extremely helpful to someone as myself, who does not have any medical experience.

“The services I have used the most have been the resources the company has helped set me up with.  For example, getting Alex set up with a therapist to see, and also just the support they offer Alex when they come to our home.  They are always a listening ear for him, which is very helpful.”

I asked how long Alex had been diagnosed. Danny’s reply was heartbreaking: “Alex has been diagnosed with MS since 2012.  I myself have been diagnosed since beginning of 2015.”

Yes, both brothers have MS.

Fascinated with the services provided by Caregiver Homes, I spoke with Dr. Jay Patel, the clinical transformation officer of its parent company, Seniorlink.

Care at home achievable with right support

“Caregiver Homes is a caregiving-focused organization that provides training and support to Medicaid recipients — support to allow them to stay in their own homes,” Dr. Patel said.

Dr. Jay Patel.
Dr. Jay Patel.

“Every client has a care manager and nurse who identify needs, create a care plan to achieve goals, overcome obstacles and make regular visits. They also work with hospital discharges, medications and so on.”

He continued: “Over time, regular family caregivers can become stressed. In these cases, we can provide an alternative caregiver who can step in to give the regular one a break. We can also find an adult day care facility in some communities. We find the most appropriate places and can provide help with transport if needed.”

The company currently has 3,500 families as active clients across six states, but demand for its services is growing. “We will not only be expanding in those states but, in the next few years will be launching in three others,” he said.

I was keen to know how his company’s services are funded. Dr Patel said: “Caregiver Homes is not a charity; we are a ‘for profit’ organization, but all the services we provide to a client are paid for by Medicaid. We only work for Medicaid recipients.

So, how do the Camarillo brothers rate the support they receive?

“Caregiver Homes has helped me in numerous ways in caring for Alex,” Danny said. “They are always very supportive and there if I have any questions or concerns. It is also very nice that they come and do in-home meetings, because sometimes it is hard to get Alex out of the house.

“At the same time, they are very respectful of our time and privacy and never come without arranging something beforehand. This company has allowed me to properly care for my brother and give him sense of independence rather than having nurses/home health aides come in and care for him.”

This article,written by me, first appeared in Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

 

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Ian FranksIan Franks is Managing Editor of the Columns division of BioNews Services, owner of 5o disease-specific news and information websites, including Multiple Sclerosis News Today. He has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media; during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist MS, Health & Disability blog at www.50shadesofsun.com. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.


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