I Am My Son’s CNA

Managing finances with a child moving through sickness can be stressful. I know, because when I was 6, I had a sister born with multiple internal birth defects. The stress on my family financially to make ends meet with an increase in medical bills was tough, and my parents were saddled with debt long after my sister passed away at 2 1/2 years old.

One smart mom in Colorado figured out a clever way to make the system work for her and her family. Read her story below.

I Am My Son’s CNA

By Joy Whitcomb, domsjourneymomsjournal.blogspot.com
Yes, you read that right.  In the state of Colorado, when a disabled child is on one of the various Medicaid waivers that covers skilled nursing (and yes, those waivers for autism do cover it), the parent can be their child’s paid caregiver.
This came about a number of years ago when someone with a disabled child who was friends with the head of Medicaid in Colorado suggested it. 
Its incredibly logical, and my hope is that if you are reading this in a state other than Colorado you will petition your state to adjust their rules to allow paid parent caregivers as well. 
The process to be your child’s CNA in Colorado is as follows:
1.  Get on a waiver.  There are several. We waited 6 years for the CES [https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/childrens-extensive-support-waiver-ces] waiver and by the time our number came up, we no longer qualified, so we are on the children’s HCBS [https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/childrens-home-and-community-based-services-waiver-chcbs] waiver. 
2.  Get a nurse to evaluate your child for the number of hours they need skilled care.  There are many organizations that do this, we went through both NTSOC [http://www.ntsoc.com/] and MGA [https://mgahomecare.com/denver-coloradosprings/].
3.  After you have determined your child’s eligibility, become a CNA.  Both NTSOC and MGA offered training and I chose MGA purely because it was closer to my house.  At that time, they trained me free and I’ve been employed by them since.  I wrote a little about that experience here. [http://domsjourneymomsjournal.blogspot.com/2016/03/institutionalization.html]
4.  Then you are supervised by a nurse case manager.  In my arrangement, I see my case manager every 60 days, we review my son’s health, address any issues and she leaves me with more charts and latex gloves (seriously). I chart, which is also my time sheet, once a week and it takes about 20 minutes. Everything else I do as part of being a CNA (cooking meals, cleaning teeth, supervising shower, etc), I would be doing as a mom, so it makes no sense to not be paid for it.

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