Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our tax dollars at work!

As you may know, Pete was discharged from the outpatient therapy program at TIRR back in March for a couple of reasons. First, the medications he was on were making it impossible for him to focus on his therapy. Second, our insurance benefits were getting close to gone. Well, "close to gone" meant, absolutely no more coverage.

Since then, I have been working on getting him some additional assistance through whatever agencies might be of assistance. Through the aid of one of the attorneys in the office, I have gotten in contact with PTB (powers that be) in Austin in the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). We got an initial appointment in mid-May to get into the system and get the ball rolling. We had delays because of medical records, and what I consider to be a pretty bad attitude on the part of one of the coordinators at TIRR, who discouraged me from working with DARS in the first place.

Today, we went back for a follow up, and to sign an Individualized Plan for Employment, with a goal of getting Pete's butt back in a desk chair planning and scheduling maintenance jobs. What he will be getting is 32 weeks of Challenge counseling (memory work, group assistance, etc) and a full hour of PT, OT, and Speech Therapy at each session. In addition, they will provide transportation assistance, either by paying an individual to do it or by providing a service to carry him back and forth for the sessions. I was really floored. All I had read told me he would not be eligible for physical or occupational therapy as a stroke patient, only cognitive rehab. I had been looking into a private pay physical therapist to get him back on his feet (literally) and it would have been a stretch and not the same quality as TIRR, but something. Looks like that won't be necessary at this point.

From the local office in Richmond, his file will be transferred to a coordinator in Houston who will work with Challenge to get the ball rolling. As you can imagine, I'm happy for that to happen, I don't know, say, TOMORROW. The counselor will also be referring him to an employment counselor/advocate who will help Pete in that way too. I should expect to hear from the woman in Houston in the next couple of weeks and then he'll be on his way.