Leah, once homeless, obtains an apartment through a local housing program and lives independently. It hasn’t always been easy. Melody, Leah’s Family & Children’s Services Tulsa Housing and Recovery Program (THARP) therapist, has helped her through some challenging times. Her home visits and other local services have provided the support Leah needs.
For example, after obtaining medical care, Leah has hip surgery. As she undergoes rehabilitation, Leah’s apartment is reconfigured to handicap accessible to help her get around easily with her walker. Melody has been there every step of the way with emotional support.
Leah soon learns she must have surgery again, and the procedure was successful. As she continues her recovery, Melody provides essential resources Leah needs the most. Leah was determined to maintain her independence, but others took advantage of her generosity, which created a barrier for her. Melody suggests that Leah enroll in the ADvantage Program. The ADvantage Program of the Home-and Community-Based Services (available through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services) provides Medicaid services to help people stay at home instead of going to a nursing home. The program assists frail elders and adults who have physical disabilities.
At first, Leah was skeptical, but after doing her research, she finally did and never regretted her decision. After all, it was a huge blessing to have someone help her with the cleaning and go to the store for her as mobility is limited now. But despite the pandemic, Leah finds hope and help thanks to Family & Children’s Services.
Family & Children’s Services provides home-based therapy and case management services for about 55 eligible older adults with mental health disorders. These clients have little to no support and without contact, many wouldn’t receive the essential care they need. The level of services varies from client to client and depends on eligibility.
“Many of them are mostly alone, they seldom get out and we are the only support system they have,” said one F&CS therapist. “Since the pandemic, it has been essential to maintain contact via telephone more than ever. It is the best source to reach them.”