Monday, March 30, 2009

Poor, pitiful Family Care Homes ramp up their lobbying w/ presentations of octogenarians instead of those w/ MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES

Dear Lou Wilson, executive director of the N.C Association, Long Term Care Facilities. & Montie (, who sent me this article:

Adult care homes come up short

by Lou Wilson

First of all, most of the residents of family care homes are not poor, decrepid, octogenarians, something which is implied by the above pic in the Raleigh News Observer Comment piece.

I can appreciate that Family Care Homes (this is what I attend to in terms of clients I see who have mental health challenges) don't receive enough money in order to:

1. pay their staff

2. provide nutritious & appealing meals for their residents

3. have well trained Supervisors-in-Charge (SIC) for their houses

4. take their residents to at least some of their medical appointments.

This is why I push the residents I see to go into Section 8 housing as is possible. And that is what made me persona non gratis to WNC Homes where I was seeing my clients w/ mental health challenges.

Oh, but they didn't like me looking in their charts while the resident was sitting by my side (thus obviously a release and as the Supervisor in Charge had given the resident the chart).

Why was it important to look in their charts? To see the medications that had been ordered.

Why was this important? Because I interface w/ the physicians in terms of side effects and benefits of the medications.

Why was it useful for me to see the residents in their homes? Because THEN I could get an accurate view of just how well or how poorly things were going.

What not infrequently happened in this home? strange things happened to the meds as are evident by the non stop firing of the staff.

Do I see my other non Family Care Home residents in THEIR homes? Yes.
What else did I see in looking thru the residents' chart when in the presence of the resident and as per the chart which was given to me by the Supervisor in Charge? The Personal Needs Allowance information and the co-pays which are applied against the $46 or $66 that a resident receives every month after the co-pays have been deducted from the PNA.

Did I start to ask questions and if so, why? Oh yes, I asked questions of Jeff Clifton of WNC Homes and of Mr. Corn of DSS Buncombe, who manages the Special Assistance, the other funds that go into the $1300/ month/ resident/ room & board payment. I asked and asked and asked and asked.

I wondered WHY----if a resident receives a SSDI check of close to $900----which is fairly common amongst the residents-----is that person's PNA the same as the person who receives a $650 SSI disability check. I finally learned that this was so when I met w/ Buncombe DSS.

And so, it appears to me that the residents who receive the larger SSDI checks should certainly try to get to Section 8 housing where they can have MORE of their SSDI check in their pockets.

Just because the Special Assistance is being reduced by Governor Perdue is no reason why I should not look out for the welfare of my clients-----and instead give them a phony line of why it would be in their best interest to keep being warehoused in a place where there is nothing to do but smoke cigarettes and watch TV.

When the clinical psychologist is threatened w/ arrest for rendering therapy to her client in the Family Care Home;

when the clinical psychologist spends her time making written complaint after written complaint on WNC Homes (I'm naming them: they threatened me w/ arrest and a public record was created re: that event which they instigated);

when the clinical psychologist cannot call up her clients during regular business hours and speak to them regarding appointments because the SIC has been told----in blatant disregard of what was agreed upon during a meeting at Buncombe DSS, where the psychological and the WNC administration 'apparently' agreed that the clinical psychologist COULD call her clients up during regular business hours.......

.....well, then that's when THIS clinical psychologist set out to find Section 8 housing for her clients in order that they might rise to the occasion of what NC Mental Health Reform was SUPPOSED to be about, namely the creation of more independence and individual responsibility as per the clients.

So, as far as I am concerned, pretty soon, you won't have to worry about that lack of money for the clients will move into Section 8 housing and be followed by CSS to some extent and their psychologist will even be able to see them in their homes.

Sorry: the Family Care Homes should have MONITORED THEMSELVES instead of allowing the likes of WNC homes to tarnish your good name. If you're smart, you'll figure out how to do this instead of spending your little bit of money as re: lobbying efforts----which is the purpose of this article you have sent me, an Opinion piece by the head of this lobbying effort.

You should have thought a little harder about how to make Community Support Services and mental health care something to be worked WITH not labored AGAINST.

Or were you afraid of losing your cash cows should they become too well educated about their civil rights as associated w/ they being given copies of the Family Care Home law by Dr. Hammond and being forwarded to Disability Rights NC as related to a potential class action lawsuit associated with the interfacing of Family Care Home law and the agenda of NC Mental Health Care Reform?
Oh BTW: here are the two lobbyists who are stated to be associated with North Carolina Association, Long Term Facilities:
Fred Bone, Bone & AssociatesLobbyistP.O. Box 28586Raleigh, NC 27611Phone: (919) 832-0207
Johnny Tillett, McGuireWoods ConsultingLobbyist434 Fayetteville StreetSuite 2140 Raleigh, NC 27601Phone: (919) 836-4002
I continue to be amenable to working WITH the Family Care Homes but not at the sacrifice of the clients and frankly, my agenda runs counter to the agenda I have so far been exposed to as re the Family Care Homes and my agenda is to create more independence for them and that is what I intend to do.

If the Family Care Homes wanted to lobby for things like:

1. more independence for the residents, which would mean cooperation w/ mental health providers

2. working w/ mental health providers as per the residents taking their own meds when feasible

3. allowing the residents to participate more in the running of the households

4. hiring reliable and dependable staff members who have no history of drug abuse problems

5. welcoming the larger community into the home in terms of interaction w/ the residents instead of creating a cloister rampant w/ isolation and all the mental health issues that worsen in such an environment....


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD


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