Meet a Recent Graduate
Sabrina graduated from Ithaca College in May 2009 with a major in Sociology and a minor in Aging Studies. Here is what Sabrina says about her job:
I work at the Center for Disability Rights as an Outreach Specialist. The main goals of my job are to transition people out of institutions and prevent people from going into them. We meet with people who are currently living in nursing homes, as well as people who are living in the community. I gather information about their medical history, developmental history, work history, family history and ask questions to learn about their needs, wants and goals. I then determine eligibility for our Medicaid waiver services and make the proper referrals. The waiver is a 'menu' of services that can be increased and decreased as a person’s needs change.
The New York State Medicaid funded waiver I work with is called the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver (NHTD for short). We work to transition people 18 and older who have a physical disability but no longer want to be in a nursing home, out of skilled nursing facilities back into the community with services. On the flip side, we also work with people who are already living independently in the community but are at risk of going into a skilled nursing facility to set up services to prevent nursing home placement. This is what we call a diversion.
So what kind of services do we put in place for our consumers, you may ask? Well, first and foremost, if a person is approved for the waiver he or she must have a service coordinator. This is similar to a case manager. Each consumer’s services vary based on the needs. Some of the services available include Independent Living Skills training (ILST), assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, and dressing, assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as grocery shopping or doing the laundry. The waiver can also provide oversight and supervision to those who have been diagnosed with a cognitive deficit. Also available through the waiver are Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Programs (both medical and social) and many other services.