What if your case manager just changed your primary personal care assistant (PCA) agency on you without telling you, what would you do? If you are not familiar with me, I live on my own in a building called Katharine Manor Apartments. I hire my own aides and pay them. So, I don’t have a case manager, but a lot of the residents do have a case manager. Some of them have the same case manager and one day they received new PCA’s from another agency. 

Man in wheelchair talking with a potential aide
Man in wheelchair talking with a potential aide

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you woke up seeing a complete stranger in your bedroom? I know what I would do. I would crap in my pants and hope that I was having a bad dream. About five residents experienced this shocking event. If this happened to me, I don’t know what I would do because I am nonverbal, so the person has to know how to communicate with me. All the residents, who were affected by this tragedy, could talk. That is one good thing.

This has been several days since the change has taken placed and proper training has occurred. Most of the residents are still not happy about this change and are fighting it. The staff here at Katharine Manor found out at the same time as the residents. They were dumbfounded as well when they found out too. 

Reality Set In

Now let’s just talk about this in general terms. Was this right at all? The answer is obviously NO! It was wrong on so many levels. How they found out was appalling. Some of the residents found out the night before. I could see if the staff here at Katharine Manor were on strike, but they weren’t on strike at all. 

If this happened to you, what would you do? To me, it is so crazy to think about because you are in a building where you are taking care of and you trust them to take care of you every single day. The trust should not be broken at all. If one of my aides is late, it is one thing, but if they don’t show up at all, would I keep them? The answer is no. It is the same thing here, but who do you get mad at? Your case manager or Katharine Manor? The answer is so difficult to say because the case manager works for the state. If Katharine Manor fought with the case manager, the state could just close the whole building. This was on the board’s minds when they found out.

Who to Blame

The case manager was completely at fault. We are all human beings and make the wrong decisions throughout our lives. I am not here to say that this person needs to be let go. Maybe the person heard something and felt that he or she had to “save” the residents from something. I don’t know what really happened, but one thing that I know is this should not have happened. 

We as people with disabilities need people who can look out for us. When I was a lot younger, I thought I could handle everything myself, but as I get older, I am noticing that it is better to have somebody to look out for us. I am not saying that we cannot do that ourselves, but it is to be safe than sorry. If you have your own thoughts about this, please tell us. There is no wrong solution to the problem. 

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