St. Lukes offers CAP program as alternative to nursing home care

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Polk County has an alternative to nursing home care that many are not utilizing. It is called Community Alternatives Program for disabled adults or CAP/DA and it is administered by St. Lukes Hospital.

CAP/DA, which began in 1988, is a Medicaid-funded program. The program provides services to individuals in their home who would otherwise require the level of care provided in a nursing facility. CAP can provide assistance to disabled adults or the elderly.

A nurse/social worker team will assess the clients social and medical needs and develop a care plan to meet those needs. Theyll arrange CAP services, which include in-home aides to assist with personal care and activities of daily living. Registered nurses oversee case management to insure that services are adequate and meet clients health and safety needs.

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I dont know what I would have done without CAP, said Linda Gilbert, caregiver. My husband became ill and needed my help, but I still had to care for his aunt. I did not know how I was going to get everything done. I just could not do it all. CAP is a blessing!

Gilbert added, CAP comes every day for my husbands aunt and does the things I just could not do. Not only do they provide care and companionship for her, they have helped me physically and mentally. They do light housekeeping, prepare meals and help her bathe. Now I can focus on my husbands care with peace of mind.

The CAP program also provides incontinence supplies, nutritional supplements, home mobility devices (walkers, wheelchair, etc.), safety and medical equipment, telephone alerts and in-home or institutional respite care.

Many individuals may qualify for CAP and not even know it. People who are eligible for CAP are residents of Polk County, eligible for Medicaid and at risk for nursing home placement, have been approved for skilled or intermediate care by a physician and whose care can be provided safely in the home and at less cost than facility placement.

CAP client Elizabeth Lyda says, I did not know there was such a service available for me and found out by accident. You dont have to be elderly or bedridden to get help! CAP is just what I needed to help me with light housekeeping and some meals. This service has been a lifesaver.

If you have any questions or to see if you qualify, call Libby Carter, RN, director of CAP services at 828-894-0564.