In Home Supportive Services

RECENT POSTS

Plenty of Responsibility, But No Required Training, for In-Home Caregivers

Oliver Massengale took over as his brother’s full-time caregiver six years ago. He says he hasn’t had time for himself in years. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Oliver Massengale took over as his brother’s full-time caregiver six years ago. He says he hasn’t had time for himself in years. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Born just a year apart, Oliver Massengale and his brother Charles grew up together. Now, in a two-story home in Compton, they are growing old together. But Charles Massengale, 71, can do little on his own.

The former tree trimmer has severe brain damage from a 30-foot fall, as well as dementia, diabetes and high blood pressure. Six years ago, Oliver took over as his brother’s full-time caregiver. He’s paid about $10.00 an hour by the state.

It was not a job he was trained to do.

“I didn’t have a clue,” said Oliver, a retired grounds manager at a college. “I was just so afraid of what I was doing.”

He constantly worried –- about giving Charles the wrong medication, about him getting bedsores, about his blood pressure. And he had no idea how easily his brother could fall over. One day, he was cooking and Charles was on a stool at the kitchen counter. Continue reading

Lack of Oversight for In-Home Caregivers Can Lead to Neglect and Death

Linda Maureen Raye at her sentencing at the Riverside County Hall of Justice. Raye pleaded guilty to elder abuse that led to the death of her mother. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Linda Maureen Raye at her sentencing at the Riverside County Hall of Justice. Raye pleaded guilty to elder abuse that led to the death of her mother. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Yolanda Farrell lay mostly paralyzed in a nursing home, unable to feed or dress herself, when her homeless daughter persuaded her to move out.

“Essentially neglected to death” by her own daughter.  

Linda Maureen Raye, who relatives say had been living in her car with her dog, used her mother’s Social Security to pay for a one-bedroom Riverside apartment and took over as Farrell’s sole caregiver in 2010.

Over the next two years, according to police and court records, Raye, 60, took her elderly mother to the doctor once. As her mother’s health declined, Raye stopped cooperating with a nurse sent to advise her on preventing bedsores.

Yet in 2012, Raye was hired officially: She began collecting about $900 a month from taxpayers under the state’s in-home care program for poor people, according to law enforcement authorities. Continue reading

Settlement Called ‘Less Harmful’ for In-Home Support Recipients

By David Gorn, California Healthline

California officials and disability rights advocates yesterday announced a settlement of a lawsuit challenging a 20 percent budget trigger cut in In-Home Supportive Services care.

The settlement allows an 8 percent reduction this year and a 7 percent reduction in 2014. It also changes the cuts from permanent to temporary.

The size and timing of the cuts are based, in part, on a current 3.6 percent IHSS cut established in 2009. That reduction will remain in effect, and an additional 4.4 percent cut will be added onto that this year followed by a 3.4 percent additional cut next year, bringing the totals to 8 percent this year and 7 percent next year. Continue reading