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Family Member Concerns

Common Concerns Your Family Might Have

Staff may not show up and my loved one will be alone.

Concerns about staffing can be addressed in the Person-Centered Plan (PCP) and with the service provider. Contingency plans for when staff do not show or are late can be part of the PCP.

Staff won’t understand my loved one’s specific needs.

Family can help with hiring staff who will support their loved one and can be an important part of training staff to care for their loved one in the best way possible. In addition, the PCP will detail the needs of your loved one and the supports they will receive to address those needs. Delivery of these services and supports is monitored by the Coordinator of Community Services and by the Maryland Department of Health.

My loved one won’t receive as good care from someone other than family.

No one can replicate the love and care provided by family. However, staff can be taught to provide for a loved one’s needs in a caring and supportive way. Family can participate in training staff and in monitoring service delivery.

My loved one will be vulnerable to people who may take advantage of them.

Vulnerabilities can also be addressed in the PCP through skill building activities, staff training and oversight by management, use of assistive technology to monitor care settings, monitoring by the CCS and HSS specialist, and family oversight.

My loved one is sometimes disruptive and may be evicted for disturbing others.

The needs of loved ones with disruptive behavior can be addressed in the PCP through behavioral support, staff training and providing increased choice and control. It is not uncommon for behavioral challenges to become less frequent and intense when a person has acclimated to their own home. Needs can also be addressed through careful choice of a place to live. Some people may prefer to live on the top floor so that they do not hear people above them, while others do better on the first floor because they don’t like heights. Some people benefit from sound proofing, changes in lighting or changes in the color of their rooms. Thinking carefully about needs when making choices in the location of the home is very important.

My loved one needs a special environment that meets their unique needs and a housing provider won’t allow the unit to be modified to address these needs.

Special environments can be addressed in most housing situations through “reasonable modifications.” Fair housing law applies to most landlords and provides people with disabilities additional protections to enable them to use and enjoy housing like people without disabilities. Modifications can be individualized and must address a disability related need of the person requesting them. Examples are ramps, grab bars, different light fixtures, technology to assist people who are deaf or vision impaired, levered door handles, sound dampening wall coverings, wall coverings to prevent damage from wheelchairs, changes to floor coverings for people using wheelchairs or walkers, etc. Sometimes the person needing the modification must pay for it. Other times it is the responsibility of the property owner. See the Fair Housing and Reasonable Accommodations/Modifications section of the website for more information. If your loved one must pay for the modification, they may be able to access Medicaid waiver funding for environmental modifications. Talk to the coordinator of community services or supports planner about this resource.

My loved one can’t handle money and won’t be able to keep up with housing payments like rent and utilities.

Money management concerns can be addressed in the PCP. People can receive supports for this from a Housing Support Service worker. They can also gain skills through training and experience. Some waivers have a self-directed services option which provides fiscal management services that help people pay salaries to staff as well as other expenses, including rent.

If fewer people are around, who will hold staff accountable for taking care of my loved one? Who will make sure they are not being abused, neglected or victimized?

A loved one’s safety is paramount. Careful hiring and training of staff as well as oversight by the provider and family/friends can help to address these concerns. In addition, when a loved one gets to know neighbors, the mail carrier, maintenance staff, the property manager and people working at local businesses they have established a caring community that will also look after their wellbeing.