Cook County Connections: Cook County In-Home Support ProgramAug 12, 2022 08:33AM ● By Laura Durenberger
By Savannah Capps, Program Coordinator - Cook County, Minnesota - August 12, 2022
When we find ourselves needing a helping hand, it can be reassuring to have trusted individuals available to meet our needs. But what does one do when friends and family are out of reach or unavailable? For individuals who need in-home support, this question can be a daunting one.
The Cook County In-Home Support Program can provide an answer to this question by offering many of the non-medical supports that allow individuals to maintain their independence and dignity, further contributing to their ability to stay living in their homes longer. By connecting caring and qualified service providers with service recipients based on best fit, we are able to provide assistance to some of the most vulnerable within Cook County and enhance the quality of lives of the individuals we serve.
These rewarding support services benefit not only recipients of services, but our service providers as well. In the words of service provider Shaun Tudor, “It has reinforced the value that I’ve placed on the elderly and multigenerational relationships and motivated me to see what else I can do to improve and facilitate more support.”
What services are provided by the In-Home Support Program?
The Cook County In-Home Support Program provides a multitude of services. Homemaking services include assistance with light and heavy housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and grocery shopping. Adult companionship services help individuals work towards community integration or other therapeutic goals, which may include playing board games to enhance fine motor skills, accompanying an individual to community events to reduce isolation, and practicing budgeting skills while shopping. Respite care is short-term care provided to an individual while their primary caregiver is absent or in need of relief and can include non-medical primary care such as companionship, meal assistance, verbal reminders, and assistance completing tasks. Errand running and transportation includes grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, and transportation to/from medical appointments. Chore services focus on helping an individual maintain a clean, sanitary, and safe environment and may include refuse removal, lawn maintenance, and snow removal. Personal supports are services provided in-home or in the community that increase personal independence and potential and allow the service recipient to meet personal or community inclusion goals, such as assistance accessing community services, developing and nurturing relationships, and participating in activities of the recipient’s choosing.
Who is eligible for the In-Home Support Program?
The Cook County In-Home Support Program serves Cook County residents aged 18 and older who have a permanent or temporary disability, as well as any individual age 65 and older, regardless of whether they suffer from a disability, who need in-home care. Qualifying disabilities include those certified by the Social Security Administration, serious and persistent mental illness including, but not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, or a rehabilitative or short-term need that is supported by a doctor’s order, such as a recent injury or surgery that requires an individual to be temporarily off their feet.
How are services paid for?
The In-Home Support Program provides a variety of payment and funding options for those in need of services. These options include state-funded waivers, adult mental health monies, a sliding fee scale for individuals 65 and older, and private pay rates.
Eligibility for a state-funded waiver is determined through a MnCHOICES assessment and is dependent upon an individual’s eligibility for Medical Assistance, their disability status, and level of need. Use of adult mental health monies requires that the individual is receiving adult mental health case management and has an established need for the service with no other available funding stream. The sliding fee scale is for individuals aged 65 and older and is income and asset based. These funds are part of the Cook County PHHS annual budget and allow for coverage of 5 hours of In-Home Support per month with a flat monthly fee ranging from $0-$70. Finally, all eligible service recipients have the option to pay privately for services, with the cost negotiated directly with their service provider. Current private pay rates vary between $20-$30 per hour.
What if I am interested becoming a service provider?
As the pandemic lingers on and many services continue to be less available and more challenging to receive and waitlists for nursing homes and care facilities continue to far exceed their demand, programs such as the In-Home Support Program have become all the more vital in filling the gap and meeting the needs of those who require assistance the most.
The need for In-Home Support Program services continues to grow, making the necessity for qualified providers as important as ever before. The Cook County In-Home Support Program is currently seeking independent contractors to join our team and allow us to continue to grow this vital program throughout the community. If you have a compassionate heart and are ready to make a difference or if you are in need of services and want to join our waiting list, reach out to the In-Home Support Program Coordinator, Savannah Capps at (218) 387-3629 or [email protected] to learn more about our program.
Together our service providers and recipients continue to foster long-lasting and meaningful connections!
Learn more about the Public Health and Human Services department and the In-Home Support Program at the August 16 PHHS Board Meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the Cook Commissioners Room. PHHS Board Meetings are available to livestream and view on the Cook County website at www.co.cook.mn.us. You can also find us on Facebook @CookCountyPHHS and Instagram @cook_county_phhs to learn more about our work supporting the health, safety and well-being of Cook County.
County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.