At the beginning of the pandemic, Emily* took her 89-year-old mother Claudia* out of her nursing home. Claudia has severe dementia, has survived 5 strokes, and has only one working limb. She can be combative and scared of new people. Emily is Claudia’s legal guardian and was providing round-the-clock care for her mother in self-isolation.
Emily was paid to care for her mother until June 1, 2020, when the exception for legal guardians as paid caretakers ran out. Emily continued to care for her without pay because she was afraid to send her mother back to the nursing home during the pandemic. She asked her mother’s Community HealthChoices (CHC) plan for an exception, but was denied. Without compensation for the care work that Emily was doing, they were struggling to pay bills and afford food.
Emily contacted PHLP. Through our advocacy with the Office of Long-Term Living, we were able to get the case reviewed. Emily was approved to continue to care for Claudia for the duration of the pandemic. As Emily wrote to us, “The exception has been approved thanks to you! I am truly grateful. This is the best support possible for mom in her final days. I have sacrificed a great deal to keep her safe since I discharged her out of the nursing home due to COVID-19 and now that can continue.”
*Names have been changed