Ryan's Reach has recognized there is a big oversight for the TBI community. There is very little in the way of group home living for our TBI loved ones. What happens most often is the loved one is placed in a home for the elderly. They often are far from being elderly themselves and the needs of the elderly are significantly different. The placement usually doesn't turn out well and the survivor's family is often asked to make other arrangements. We have witnessed this dilemma for many years.
Ryan's Reach took on a mission. Our charity decided to open a home to provide care exclusively for brain injury survivors. After a long and arduous process, almost two years, we have opened a home – Ryan’s Reach R&R – “R&R” standing for “Residence & Respite.” We have started with three full-time residents and will be adding a fourth. Being a six-bed facility, we plan to fill four beds with full-time residents and keep two beds available for short stays (respite care); giving family members a short time to "come up for air". Caregivers for TBI survivors often need a break, to take a vacation or sometimes take care of their own health, which often breaks down due to constant demands of caring for their loved one.
CHALLENGE: It is very costly to provide care on a full-time basis. Our home is occupied under a long-term lease. We have at least two caregivers on duty 24/7. The cost of insurance, especially workers compensation, is extremely high. Add to this the cost of food, supplies, transportation, etc. and one can easily see this is not a “money-making business.”
Few survivors, or families, have the financial means to pay for full time residential care, which starts at $7,000 per month. Most persons only have SSI/SSP financial assistance from Medicaid. This is usually only $1034 per month.
Recently we discovered that California’s Medi-Cal has a special program to provide financial assistance to persons on SSI/SSP, such that they might receive additional financial assistance toward room & board in assisted living environments. This is known as the “Assisted Living Waiver program (ALW).
Ryan's Reach can direct a family to the source of this waiver and assist when necessary to get their application in. Once they have applied a state approved Care Coordinator will come out and evaluate the needs of the TBI survivor. Depending on their evaluated need, Medi-Cal may provide financial assistance from $35 up to $200 per day.
Ryan's Reach has now been recognized as a “Provider Home.” This means we are eligible to care for ALW qualified individuals. This will go a long way toward providing the funds needed to cover expenses – but it is definitely not enough. We will still depend largely on charitable donations to reach our goals.
MEMBER OF THE CLUB: By Virginia Rayne
In September of 1977, when my son Daniel was born, I became the member of a club I ALWAYS aspired to and that was called Motherhood. I embraced it. Eighteen months later when my daughter Devin was born, I was a full-fledged member. The time spent sharing helpful tips, stories, and experiences with the other mothers, whom I came to know and love, was invaluable and inspiring. I learned so much about navigating the wonderful and sometimes perplexing journey we shared.
Fast-forward to November of 2015, when Daniel suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall in Portland, Oregon. I became a member of a club I NEVER aspired to. This club was called The Parent of a Brain Injured Child, and again I embraced it. Just as I gained so much from the Motherhood club, I knew that I had much to learn from the parents who came before, during and after me on this perilous journey in search of the best care and rehabilitation for our loved ones. They have, and continue to share of themselves, a wealth of ideas and resources they have accumulated. This has encouraged me and lifted my soul into a hopeful place.
Daniel has become a member of a new club as well, and it is called Ryan’s Reach. I see that each day he is embracing it more and more and benefiting tremendously from the wonderful atmosphere, leadership and staff of this much needed residential Recovery and Respite home. And it is truly a home, where all who enter are welcome and treated with love and respect. In the mere two months that Daniel has resided there, he is almost completely off of his feeding tube and continues to make great physical and emotional progress. We are blessed to be a part of this extraordinary opportunity.