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Annie’s Dignity Matters

How important is your independence? Many of us pride ourselves on being independent and maintaining our dignity. So much so we could never imagine what life would be like having to rely on a care team to assist us with walking, eating, bathing, using the rest room or simply covering our shoulders when we’re cold. This is Annie’s reality.

Annie, an elderly quadriplegic, has received 24-hour constant care from a homecare agency since 2009. Last year, Annie received notification that her Managed Long-Term Care Plan had changed, and her 24-hour continuous coverage was changing to live-in care. This change would not only reduce the number of care hours Annie receives from 24 hours a day to only 13 but discontinue service with her current homecare agency, as this is not a service they provide. Annie was afraid to be alone and reluctant to begin working with new aides. She contacted her case worker at the homecare agency, who then turned to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) for help where her case was received by Lisa Luborsky.

Lisa Luborsky, LSHV ICAN Coordinator, provides assistance with Managed Long-Term Care issues to residents of Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties. ICAN is the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network, part of the NYS Ombudsman Program for Managed Long-Term Care. ICAN helps people in New York’s Managed Care Plans who already have or need long-term care services. Help is always free, confidential, and independent.

Lisa reviewed the case details and recognized the urgency to preserve Annie’s continued care and dignity. Lisa immediately did all she could to prepare for Annie’s case and fiercely worked on an appeal. With Annie’s change in service going into effect within a week, Lisa knew time was of the essence.

Fortunately, the decision was made in favor of Annie, and her 24-hour continuous care will remain in effect, and she will continue services with her current homecare agency. Annie can now focus on her health and happiness- with dignity.

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*The names and identifying characteristics have been changed to protect our client’s privacy.