TWM Gives Back: Helping Restore Ability
Dealing with the unforeseen challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on people across the world. For many, it was the first time they had dealt with feelings of fear of an unseen threat and severe isolation. These feelings are ones that clients of Helping Restore Ability (HRA) feel every day. Helping Restore Ability provides in-home attendant care to Texans with lifelong disabling conditions. The client’s underlying conditions limit their ability to go about their daily lives for fear that something as minimal as the common cold could exacerbate a chronic, and sometimes deadly, condition. Often mobility limitations lead to prolonged isolation.
With these ongoing daily concerns, the COVID-19 threat only brought more fear and more isolation. The clients served by HRA are in the highest at-risk population due to age, compromised immune systems or frequent surgical procedures. Many times, the HRA attendant is the only connection that clients have with a person outside their immediate family. This elevates the services that HRA provides from daily care tasks to life giving and life sustaining personal touch and communication. As we all discovered during the early weeks and months of the COVID-19 pandemic, human touch and connection are the catalyst for our moods and motivations.
Helping Restore Ability pledges to provide the highest level of attendant care services for the clients served, no matter the external factors. Over the last year, we have implemented innovative training strategies to increase attendant recognition of early warning signs for many diseases. Additionally, we have worked with our client’s managed care organizations (insurance providers) to ensure that the clients are attending all necessary preventative care appointments. These training opportunities have helped to educate and engage the attendants in serving the clients physical needs. In addition, we have increased attendant pay and benefits to reduce turnover. Reduction in attendant turnover allows the client and attendant to bond, serving the client’s emotional and spiritual needs as well as increasing the likelihood that an attendant will be able to spot a change in the client’s health earlier. Attendant job security and satisfaction also helps to lower stress on the attendant and their family, allowing a higher quality of care for their client.
These strategies have had a significant effect on clients health and outcomes. Helping Restore Ability clients utilize the emergency room 50% less than the national average and spend significantly less time hospitalized or in inpatient treatment. These reductions not only provide for better health outcomes, but they also save Texas taxpayers a significant amount of money. In the last year alone, during a small pilot study, these strategies saved Texas taxpayers over $4 million in reduced Medicaid claims. Helping Restore Ability intends to continue expanding the program and therefore saving taxpayer exponentially greater amounts year over year.
Recently, the CEO of the Aetna National Medicaid Programs met with Vicki Niedermayer, HRA CEO, to learn about how these strategies may be expanded across different programs. During this conversation he noted that HRA has developed a “Best In Class” attendant care service. This is not possible without the generous and ongoing support of our community partners. With the ever-increasing need for care services, increased training, and reduced turnover, your support matters now more than ever.
A cash contribution of $150 will assist in allowing HRA to put an additional attendant through the ongoing training modules and increase their level of support. A cash contribution of $1,000 offsets the attendants increased salary and wages to ensure that not only the client, but the attendant is able to live an independent and fulfilling life. Each year, Helping Restore Ability hosts one large-scale fundraising event to raise money to continue providing these services. The event hosts both a silent and live auction. Helping Restore Ability would be honored to feature businesses, products, or services of Tanglewood Moms in the auction or as a sponsor for the event. Information on this event can be received by emailing Savannah Heitman at SHeitman@hratexas.org.
As the largest nonprofit attendant care provider in Texas, Helping Restore Ability appreciates the support and continued encouragement from Tanglewood Moms and the Greatest Gift Catalog Ever. On behalf of our clients, attendants, and staff, we thank you.
Lauren Patrick is the Director of Development and Marketing at Helping Restore Ability. An Arlington native, Lauren received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Sweet Briar College, Masters of Arts in Student Development and Graduate Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy Activities and Learning at the University of Denver. Since graduating Lauren has dedicated herself to work in the non-profit sector. Lauren now lives in Fort Worth and continues to serve the community in a variety of ways.