Lifecare Innovations met Hal when he was 54 years old. Hal had lived with his parents until he was well into his forties. When both of his parents passed away, Hal was forced to move out of his parents’ stable, middle-class home for the first time in his life. When Hal was born he had a deformity in his brain that caused seizures and left him in a coma for many weeks as an infant. Later, as a youth and young adult, Hal suffered from learning problems, socialization problems, and a wide variety of challenges that commonly accompany those with developmental disabilities. Hal’s parents enrolled him in State funded programs to teach him work skills, but Hal disliked the programs and eventually dropped out. Although Hal did get a part-time job near his home, he continued to be dependent upon his parents for his basic needs.
Hal had never learned properly how to cook, clean house, do laundry, grocery shop, manage money, or arrange for his own health and dental care needs. For several years after his parents’ death he was able to barely get by; he had a couple of pre-approved credit cards upon which he charged his food items, clothing and bills. He lived next to a convenience store that made purchasing food items easy, although his purchases were not healthy foods and cost him a premium price. He maintained a part-time job that he walked two miles each way to get to, but his income from the job was not enough to pay for his basic housing and personal care needs. His earnings left him at about the poverty level. Hal’s ongoing lack of medical care finally led him to multiple Emergency Room Hospital episodes. Hal complained to a professional friend, the attorney that had served his parents, about his Emergency Room bills and credit card bills, and his friend introduced Hal to Lifecare Innovations.
When Lifecare Innovations staff first met Hal in his condominium, which had been purchased with the modest inheritance he received when his parents’ passed away, Hal had no food whatsoever in his home, the home had never been cleaned, and he was weeks away from foreclosure proceedings. Additionally, Hal had not been to a physician for more than five years, despite his Emergency Room visits, declining health status, and obvious poor nutrition. Hal had a relationship with a prominent neurologist who had treated him since childhood and prescribed maintenance medications, but Hal had not seen this physician because he lacked transportation to do so. Hal was not too far away from finding himself prematurely placed in a skilled nursing facility at a young age. Hal’s only family was a sibling that lived out of state, and Hal distanced himself for fear that his sibling would force him to accept types of help that he did not want. Hal went to great lengths to explain to Lifecare Innovations staff about his dislike for certain types of programs that his parents had enrolled him in “to help” decades earlier, and it took consistent, personal, client-focused interventions to forge a trusting relationship, enabling Hal to feel in control. At the same time that relationship was being built, assistance was being given.
Staff rallied to bring food to Hal and helped him establish an immediate rapport with the local food pantry. Because Hal’s only assets were in the home that he was about to lose, Lifecare Innovations staff moved quickly, with Hal’s permission, to keep the home out of foreclosure and to keep the condominium association from sending the many past due assessment fees to a collection agency. Lifecare Innovations concurrently investigated Hal’s eligibility for public benefits and found that one of the benefits for which he qualified was Social Security Disability. After consulting with Hal and his attorney, Hal’s condominium was liquidated, his bills paid, and a special needs trust fund was established. Staff assisted Hal to move into a fresh, clean apartment that he could afford. Hal agreed at this point to enroll in a community-based program that taught, reinforced, and assisted with basic skills necessary for self sufficiency and helped him to make new friends. Lifecare Innovations staff worked with Hal and his distant sibling to help rebuild their relationship. Hal’s Social Security Disability benefits nearly doubled his monthly income, and this combined with learning basic money management techniques, greatly increased his day to day quality of life and sense of well being.
The death of Hal’s caring and protective parents left his life slowly unraveling. Lifecare Innovations was able to work with Hal where others had not, and helped him to make decisions that allowed the pieces to be put back together even stronger than they were before.