The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) received an e-mail from a LifeTime Resources employee asking if we have ever heard of a particular medical equipment company and wondering if her 78-year-old family member, Joe Smith, was a victim of Medicare fraud. As the contact person for the agency’s Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), the I&A Supervisor, Diana, reached out to Joe to discuss the details of the case and report findings to the officials, as appropriate.
Diana called Joe the same day to get more information and find out what happened in regards to him receiving a back brace in the mail. Joe reported that he received a call from a medical equipment company about two weeks prior and they asked him if he had arthritis and he said, “yes”. Then, they asked Joe where his arthritis was located, to which he responded, “back”. The medical equipment company asked if they could send Joe a back brace and Joe said “no,” he didn’t want a back brace. The next thing Joe knew, he was receiving a back brace in the mail 2 weeks after the phone call. Joe said he did not give the caller his Medicare number, social security number, or any other personal information. Joe’s wife said the package came with 6 pages of packing lists and included an order confirmation sheet, Rights and Responsibilities, Return Policy, etc. Diana advised Joe and his wife that LifeTime Resources would report the details to the state’s SMP and to be on the lookout for a call from them in the near future. Additionally, Joe and Diana discussed a few tips for avoiding scams in the future, such as screening phone calls that are not from a recognizable number.
Diana called the SMP Program Director the same day and gave her Joe’s name and
phone number. The Program Director said she would take it from there and thanked us
for reporting it. The SMP Program Director called Joe the very next day to investigate
what happened. It turned out that the medical equipment company billed Medicare
$1,375 for the back brace and Medicare paid $983 to the medical equipment
company. Medicare is issuing Joe a new Medicare card to prevent this from
happening again, and SMP will report this to the Administration for Community Living
and the Department of Justice for the claim for the back brace to be rectified.
Emily is 86 years old, living in her own home in the Dillsboro area. For the past year or so she has been a regular participant at the Senior Nutrition Activity Center (SNAC) at Dillsboro Village Apartments, but also wanted to find a safe way to get some exercise. She was in luck, as the property manager at Dillsboro Village Apartments manages the Walk With Ease program.
Although the most recent program had ended, there were several individuals that wanted to keep walking and had formed a walking group. The Property Manager urged Emily to join. Emily decided that she would and joined the Property Manager and a few others for a walk a few times per week. At first, Emily could only walk 10 minutes at a time, but was making progress when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Group walks were canceled for the foreseeable future but that didn’t break Emily’s stride. During the pandemic, Emily and her granddaughter would go to the Dillsboro Park and walk around the trail, which allowed Emily to build up her strength and stamina to the point where she could walk a full mile!
This past fall, we were able to have a socially distanced Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease Program outside at Dillsboro Village Apartments. The Walk with Ease program allows people who suffer from arthritis and other ailments an opportunity to be active and learn techniques that may decrease pain and stiffness brought on by arthritis and other chronic ailments. Emily was able to participate in the program and continues to remain actively involved with the walking group outside of the program when possible. She is proud of her accomplishments and hopes to remain independent longer as a result of her efforts.
Jane Smith is a 76-year-old female resident of Switzerland County that was negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic when she was left without easy access to food. Jane has High Blood Pressure and Type II Diabetes and can become weak and dizzy at times. Jane lives in a small town with only one grocery store. The National Health Crisis had a huge impact on the town’s local grocery store, public transportation, and SNAC (congregate meal) program that closed at the beginning of quarantine.
Jane has been a client of Lifetime for 3+ years and utilized SNAC and CAR on a monthly basis before the National Health Crisis. Jane was left without transportation to and from the grocery store, to medical appointments, and was no longer able to use the SNAC site as a resource for a warm meal and socialization. Prior to the closings, Jane had a strict routine of visiting the local grocery store once a week for supplies. Jane does not have any informal supports except her friends from the SNAC program. LifeTime was able to provide temporary Home Delivered Meals and partner with the local school corporation for grocery delivery to residents of Switzerland County, including Jane. Two of LifeTime’s staff members volunteered to deliver these groceries to Jane’s home. Additionally, Jane’s Home Care Manager was able to find a local volunteer that could transport her to her monthly medical appointment, which she has used for two months now. Now that transportation is back up and running, Jane is back to enjoying her weekly outings again, and getting to and from the grocery store. Jane is grateful for the coordination offered by LifeTime during the National Health Crisis.
The Bread of Life is the only soup kitchen in Decatur County. They serve meals three days per week to those in need in the Greensburg area. Catch-A-Ride was contacted by the Bread of Life regarding roundtrip transportation for a gentlemen (Adam) who lives in Westport. Adam needed roundtrip transportation to/from the Bread of Life on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Unfortunately, Adam’s ride times conflicted with the many rides Catch-A-Ride regularly provides for Developmental Services Inc. (DSI) consumers in the afternoons.
Catch-A-Ride began working to see if there was a way to help the Bread of Life deliver meals to Adam. After reaching out to INDOT to see if they would allow any flexibility for service coordination during this pandemic, we were happy to learn that INDOT and the FTA agreed to special approval for the public transportation systems in the state to deliver food and/or prescriptions to those in need; services that would normally not be allowed.
In order for meal delivery to work, the meal had to be delivered to Adam within two hours after it was picked up from Bread of Life. We have been able to arrange for the Catch-A-Ride driver to go to the Bread of Life approximately 15 minutes before they open to the public, pick up the meal for Adam, then go to DSI to pick up the passengers there. In less than one hour, while in Westport dropping off a passenger from DSI, the driver delivers the meal to Adam.
Catch-A-Ride began delivering meals to Adam at the end of July and currently has trips scheduled through September 30th. Catch-A-Ride and the Bread of Life, through their partnership, were able to get Adam the meals he needs.
George is a 49 year old male that has been a client of Sentry Services since December of 2006. George lives in a supported living home in Madison with two roommates. George has a variety of health and mental conditions, including Intellectual Disabilities (MRDD), Autism, Impulse Control Disorder, Psychosis, GERD, depression, anemia, and incontinence. His mental diagnoses prevents him from being able to live on his own or make informed decisions about his overall health and wellbeing. George is non-verbal, so his wants and needs are anticipated by his home care staff. George needs assistance and verbal prompts to complete all activities of daily living and receives twenty four hour care, seven days a week.
In late August 2019, George was admitted to King’s Daughters’ Hospital in Madison where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. George’s overall health quickly deteriorated and he soon started aspirating, which lead to the need for a feeding tube. Due to the high amounts of antibiotics George was receiving intravenously to treat the pneumonia, his kidneys started shutting down and he had to go on dialysis. The medical team could not say for sure if George would have to remain on dialysis the rest of his life and, due to his mental capacity, George would not have been a candidate to receive dialysis on an out-patient bases, so his overall quality of life would drastically change. George was transferred from King’s Daughters’ Hospital to Baptist East in New Albany where he could continue to receive dialysis in house for the time being.
While at Baptist East, George’s kidney function, oxygen level, creatinine levels and overall health declined, a feeding tube was placed, and at the time his prognosis was not good. The staff at New Albany stated to the Sentry Service Case Manager that he likely would be on dialysis for the rest of his life and that his overall quality of life would drastically decline. This was a huge change from the client’s life just a few weeks prior. The Sentry Services Case Manager spoke with the Kidney Specialist on staff, due to George’s age and kidney’s not being permanently damaged at this time, the decision was made by the Sentry Service Case Manager to give him two weeks before a final decision would be made on what the next step should be. Surprisingly enough, during that two week span, George was able to go off of dialysis completely, but needed to go to a skilled nursing facility to recuperate.
On September 30, 2019, George admitted to a skilled nursing facility in Seymour, Indiana. George would have to remain there until he was able to get back to and maintain his normal weight, which took about three months. George progressed to where he was able to eat solid foods and his feeding tube was removed on December 27th. George discharged back to the supported living home in Madison on December 30, 2019. Staff reported he is doing very well and happy to be home. George was also able to go back to the day program located in North Vernon, and is participating in community outings with staff and peers.
Had Sentry Services not been there for George, there would have been no one to advocate for him and make his healthcare decisions and he may not be here today.
The amount of staff time needed to resolve the issue or set up the plan: 221 units or 55.25 hours.
Nathalie, Community Care Counselor (CCC), met with Anna (mid 80s) at her home after she called in requesting information on a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). Nathalie had previously assisted Anna when she was caring for her late husband, so she was familiar with LifeTime Resources.
Anna lives by herself out in the county and is blessed to have some support from her family. She is diagnosed with Arthritis and back/spine problems and has had 3 joint replacements and several back surgeries. Her condition has progressed so that surgical intervention is no longer an option. She walks with her rollator and/or cane and through the years she and her late husband have made updates such as a step-in shower and a ramp to the home to promote safety. Though her mobility is impaired, Anna is independent and still gets out in the community for business and social activities. Anna mentioned that, since her husband passed, she has had to watch her finances carefully due to a drop in income. During the Initial Assessment, Anna and Nathalie discussed several potential options to combat the issues she had been having managing her finances and Anna indicated that, if she could get the assistance that was explained, she would be able to afford the PERS.
Nathalie and her Case Coordinator, Robin, worked together to ensure Anna received the applications she needed. Over the next 8 weeks Anna got to work and got an A+ on Action Plan completion. She called Nathalie at end of the month to give her an update on her progress and reported that she had been approved for the following programs:
Medicare Savings Program
Paid for her Medicare Part A premium and raised the amount of her Social Security Check. Anna received a 3 month lump sum for the 3 months prior to her application.
Extra Help Program
Helps to pay for her Medicare Part D (prescription) premium and lower her monthly medication costs. Anna reported that the Extra Help had already lowered her monthly medication expenses from $150 to $12.
Helped offset her high electric bill during the winter months. - Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) Anna can pay for her PERS now, without worry, and still has a little “extra” at the end
Anna now has the extra security that a PERS affords her and can summon help at home and in the community, should she need it. She has more peace of mind and so does her family.
Nathalie Stephan, Community Care Counselor, spent 6.5 hours on the referral and Robin Ritchie, Case Coordinator, spent 2.25 hours on the case. There is no ongoing cost to LTR as no funded services are currently being provided.
Angel is 90 years old and started using Catch-A-Ride in January of 2017. Since then, she has taken over 1,000 rides. On August 7, 2019 our driver, Rick Plogsted, picked Angel and a couple of other passengers up from the Senior Nutrition Activity Center (SNAC) to take them home. After his last drop off, Rick had to drive back past Angel’s house on his way to Batesville for his lunch break. He slowed down when passing Angel’s house and saw her sitting on her side entrance step at an angle. Rick immediately stopped the van and backed into Angel’s driveway to get a better view of the situation and found that she was unable to get up.
Angel reported to Rick that, after getting the mail from her mailbox, she could not handle the screen door, her mail and her cane and she had fallen. Rick was able to help her to her feet, get her into the house and offer her a bottle of water as well as grab her some paper towels to clean the blood from a small cut on her finger. Rick stayed with Angel until she was able to calm down and call one of her sons.
Rick reported that Angel lives in a large house, with only a few close neighbors, and that traffic coming from the opposite direction would not have seen her with the house and bushes in the way. Rick was very grateful he was there to help Angel in her time of need.
The next day, Michelle Guidice called Angel to see how she was doing. Angel reported that her son had taken her to the hospital for x-rays, but nothing was broken. Angel had her granddaughter staying with her for a couple of days to make sure she was okay. Angel reported this was the second time she had fallen recently and that she was very grateful that Rick stopped to help her, because she did not know what she would have done if he had not stopped. Michelle was able to add Angel’s son and sister’s contact information to her account in the event of a future emergency. In addition, the family was provided information about all of the other services that LifeTime offers, should Angel need them in the future.
One day this past fall, Brenda Thayer, Nutrition Program Manager, received a call from a woman who lived out of state and was crying. Her parents lived locally and she was afraid that they were not eating enough and that their health was in jeopardy. Her mom was having memory issues and her dad didn’t cook much. She asked about Meals on Wheels. When the daughter stated that her parents still drove and were able to get out of the house on a regular basis, Brenda explained they wouldn’t qualify for that program but maybe they would be interested in attending the local Senior Nutrition Activity Center (SNAC).
After Brenda explained that the SNAC was a place for those 60 and over to meet Monday – Friday for a nutritious meal, activities, and socialization, the daughter thought it was a great idea. Then the daughter asked how to go about getting them to attend. Brenda told the daughter that she (the daughter) could talk to her parents about attending or the SNAC Director could call them. The daughter felt her parents might get upset with her, so she asked if the SNAC Director could give them a call. When the daughter gave Brenda her parents’ names and phone number, Brenda realized she had gone to school with the daughter and knew who her parents were and where they lived! The daughter asked if Brenda could keep in touch with her.
Brenda asked the SNAC Director to call the couple and invite them to the SNAC. She called a few times and offered to drop a menu off to them, but they were not receptive to the idea. Brenda then talked to the daughter about an idea she had. Brenda goes to church with a very kind, loving lady that is a neighbor to the couple. She asked the lady if she would be willing to talk to the couple about the SNAC, take them a menu, and attend the SNAC with them if they would agree to go. The lady said yes and that she visits with them on a regular basis. After a couple of weeks, the lady told Brenda she made the visit but she wasn’t sure they wanted to attend. Later that week, the husband stopped at the SNAC and signed up for them to attend 2 times the next week!
When they attended, they realized they knew a lot of the other individuals at the SNAC. In fact, the SNAC Director reported that one day the couple and another participant stayed for at least an hour after everyone else had left, just sitting and visiting! The daughter was over joyed to hear how well it was going.
The couple has been attending since November and it appears they will continue. It took extra effort and thinking creatively, but this “person centered” approach was worth it.
Sarah is a 90 year old female who resides with her daughter, Bethany. Sarah’s Diagnoses include Parkinson’s disease, Anxiety, Depression, Osteoarthritis, Macular Degeneration, and Vertigo. Her diagnoses have led to an increase in anxiety, depression, weakness, and loss of appetite. Bethany is Sarah’s full time paid Caregiver with the Structured Family Caregiving service under the Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver.
During a home visit with Sarah’s Home Care Manager, Misty, Bethany reported that she was very exhausted from taking care of her mother and that she felt as though she did not have enough time to cater to her own health and wellness needs. She stated that she had missed several doctor’s appointments due to being unable to find friends and family willing to come and sit with her mother for a few hours. Bethany felt that the Personal Response System that Sarah had made them both feel more comfortable in the home alone, but that Bethany worried her mother would forget to keep the device nearby and be unable to use it in the event of a fall.
Misty worked with the individual and her daughter to set a long-term goal to strengthen her arms to ease transitions in and out of the vehicle during errands. However, this was not a quick solution and would take some time to develop. As a potential short-term solution, Misty mentioned the use of volunteers from a nearby community church for the purpose of companionship and general assistance. After having little to no luck reaching out to these churches, Misty provided the daughter with other options such as ideas on how to recruit volunteers and provided her with a website to conduct online background checks. Bethany was able to locate 3 volunteers from the community and found 1 to be a perfect fit after interviewing and completion of a background check that she was able to run herself.
Sarah was comfortable with the volunteer and Bethany was happy to play a role in identifying someone who made a good fit for her mom. Bethany was able to tend to her own medical needs and has kept in contact with the volunteer should she need someone to sit with her mother in the future. Bethany thanked Misty for guiding her through the process and stated that having the time to tend to her own needs gave her a great amount of peace of mind and has even strengthened the relationship she has with her mother.
Home Care Manager: Misty Robbins
Total Amount of Staff Time/Resources: 10-12 Hours of Time
Mae is a 94 year old, legally blind, female who has been using Catch–A-Ride for transportation to the Madison Senior Nutrition Activity Center since early December of 2018.
Mae was very hesitant to use Catch–A-Ride at first, but her daughter (a member of Madison City Council) convinced her to use our service and volunteered to schedule the trips on her mother’s behalf. Unfortunately, her very first experience with Catch-A-Ride wasn’t great because she happened to call during a time when the server was down for two days, as a result of a virus. Her poor experience resulted in an email to the Catch-A-Ride Director. The Director responded and assured her that a server issue of that magnitude was something that we had never experienced in all of our years of service and convinced her to give Catch–A-Ride a second chance. Luckily, she did!
Mae initially started with trips to the Madison Senior Nutrition Activity Center a couple of days a week, but is now using Catch–A-Ride five days a week and has taken 90+ trips!
During a Madison City Council meeting in January of 2019, Mae’s daughter made a point of mentioning how great Catch–A-Ride’s services are and how much they’ve helped her mother.
Jason is a 25 year old who was paralyzed from the waist down when he was 6 years old as a result of a car accident. He is in a wheelchair, has a pressure ulcer on his bottom, has a colostomy, and PTSD. Jason moved to Indiana from Florida about 2 years ago. He was able to buy a home with money that he received from the accident and a close friend helped him get settled in Indiana. He wanted to start over and make a better life for himself than what his family had in Florida. He had planned on either attending college here or finding a job. After a disagreement, that close friend no longer has contact with Jason and he has no family in Indiana. At this point Jason had no income, funds were dwindling, no reliable source of transportation, and he was unsure of what he needed to do to help his situation. After having a visit with a community care counselor, it was clear that Jason wished to remain as independent as possible and did not wish to have any services. At the time of the visit, Jason was paying for his colostomy and wound care supplies out of pocket, although he had Medicaid insurance. He wanted to find employment, if possible, to have a source of income. Jason had previously applied for disability and was denied. He became discouraged and never applied for SSI (Social Security for individuals with disabilities). He also needed maintenance for his wheelchair, as his tires were very worn, making it difficult for him to wheel himself very far.
From the information that the community care counselor was able to provide, Jason was able to obtain the needed medical supplies through a supplier and have those supplies paid for by his Medicaid insurance. The community care counselor encouraged him to apply for SSI. Jason reached out to his case manager through CMHC who has since assisted him with applying for SSI. He is currently waiting on their response to that application. Jason was able to contact vocational rehabilitation to assist in preparing him for employment and is trying to begin the process with them. He has also applied for and is receiving food stamps to help him until he obtains a source of income. He has reached out to the township trustee and SIEOC for utility assistance. He was able to contact his case manager through Medicaid and is getting assistance to get new wheels for his wheelchair. Jason has a lot of obstacles to overcome but with information on community resources and programs that are available to Jason he has accomplished many things over the last 2 months. If he continues to make progress he is well on his way to being the independent member of society that he wishes to be. Submitted by Alisha Eadens, Community Care Counselor.
Patricia Clinton (Alias) is a 72 y/o married female living with her husband in their shared home. A referral was initially received for assistance in obtaining a ramp for the home, however, the family was able to obtain this on their own prior to the first home visit. Patricia and her husband kept the appointment for the first home visit so that the Community Care Counselor could discuss other possible needs with them. Patricia has suffered from chronic illnesses for the past 18 years and recently underwent “hot chemo” for peritoneal cancer that left her feeling extremely weak. Her husband was concerned about leaving her home alone for any period of time due to immobility issues. She is unable to get up from the elevated toilet seat, even with grab bars, and he did not want her to attempt to do this on her own while he was out of the house. Patricia is also prone to falls.
Patricia and her husband reside in a double wide home in rural Dearborn County and have limited family support. Their home is very clean and uncluttered and husband takes care of all of this. They were very uncomfortable with the prospect of having an outsider come into the home for supervision and general assistance with Activities of Daily Living, but were at a loss as to what to do. After a lot of discussion, it was determined that Patricia and her husband have a long standing friend, whom they trust, that is in need of some spending money. They had not considered this option prior to the visit and were surprised at such a simple and obvious solution for the problem. They contacted the friend who gladly accepted the offer and it has worked out very well for all concerned. Had they not met with an impartial third party, they may not have reached this resolution. The husband since called to express his appreciation for the help received and to say that this has made their lives easier and more enjoyable. Submitted by Kit Gomien, Community Care Counselor.