Stories of Care
“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?” 1 John 3:17
The following are “Stories of Care”* from the ministries of Lutheran Homes Society.
LHS Family & Youth Services
Many of the children and young adults who come into the Family & Youth program have difficulty processing and controlling anger. As one therapist stated, “Anger leads to brokenness on the inside and out.” Sometimes, children and youth are so frustrated they cry, hit and/or scream. During these times of extreme frustration and rage, often, the youth will throw items, break items, and destroy personal possessions that belong to them or someone else.
After these angry outbursts, staff members help the children and youth to accept responsibility for their actions. Staff members talk with, instruct and ultimately hold the children and youth responsible for the things they destroy. “Mary,” “Mark,” and “Trina” performed extra chores to reduce or pay off the cost of what they had broken. During the performance of these chores, their brokenness turned into recognition of what they had done and what they were trying to do to make up for their behavior.
Staff and peers recognized their growth. The young adults recognized the positive result of their destructive actions.
LHS Housing & Community Services
“Bob” fell and broke his dentures into several pieces. To have his dentures replaced, it was going to result in a large medical bill that he could not afford. However, it was a service that he needed. He mentioned this to a Service Coordinator at the LHS housing facility where he lived, and the Service Coordinator was able to help with the financial burden of replacing his dentures through the LHS Resident Assistance Fund. Specific donations to this special fund are to be used by residents for unexpected major expenses. The fund provided Bob with the financial relief that enabled him to avoid choosing between dentures and other living necessities.
“Georgia” requested her LHS Service Coordinator’s assistance with food stamp benefits, from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Georgia said that she had been relying on her children to help her buy food because she hadn’t received her benefits card. Georgia did not want to rely on her children to assist her any further with her grocery expenses, since they had their own expenses. The Service Coordinator was able to contact the local Department of Job and Family Services and inquire about the status of Georgia’s application and benefits card. LHS worked through the maze of application requirements and was able to have Georgia’s benefits begin within the week.
The LHS Annual Fund assists in funding the charitable needs of individuals such as Bob and Georgia.
LHS Nursing Care Ministries
“Jane” went to an area hospital after neighbors reported that she was locked out of her house and sitting on the front porch. The hospital referred Jane to an LHS skilled nursing facility through Adult Protective Services (APS), the social service agency responsible for investigating abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults. Jane became a client of APS, primarily due to neglect at home by family members. She stills remains in the LHS skilled nursing facility.
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus said,
…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me. “Jim” would qualify as one of the “least of these brothers.” He came to an LHS skilled nursing facility suffering from a physically devastating medical condition. Jim was unable to speak or feed himself, and was barely able to make his needs known. He would never be rehabilitated and sent home; the LHS skilled nursing facility became his home. Over the course of 15 years, the staff became very close to Jim. They loved and cared for him and provided the best quality of life possible. It was this compassionate care and love that kept Jim comfortable and peaceful for many years. Jim went home to be with the Lord, and, because Jim was truly one of the “least,” the staff at the facility was blessed to serve the Lord through Jim.
“Martha” was admitted to an LHS skilled nursing facility because she had no home or financial resources. She also suffered from a severe foot ulcer that resulted in Martha almost losing her leg. With the skilled nursing staff’s care, Martha was able to return to health, is now able to walk, and will be moving into a new apartment. Once discharged, Martha will work with the LHS Care Transitions program to coordinate community services.
Because of God’s Grace…
…and the generosity of our donors, the staff of Lutheran Homes Society lives the mission of LHS: “…to do what lies within our power to share burdens that weigh upon the young and the old and to alleviate sorrow and misery in His name.” With this mission in mind, staff members are able to bring the healing touch of hope and life to the recipients mentioned in these stories of care, as well as to the hundreds of others whom they serve faithfully and diligently.
God has called LHS to provide oversight of this mission. It is a challenging call, requiring responsibility, insight, care, vigilance, hope, and resources. As we respond to that call, a variety of resources are needed to continue the vital physical, emotional, and spiritual assistance to the many residents of LHS ministries. The LHS Foundation exists to provide the financial resources needed by all of the Lutheran Homes Society ministries.
We ask that you consider being a part of the ministries of LHS through your donations. Thank you!
*Although pseudonyms are used in the above ministry stories, LHS follows HIPAA guidelines and has either obtained permission from our residents, patients, or clients, or have sufficiently concealed their identity, thereby enabling LHS to use their stories of God’s grace.
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Cost of Charitable Care
“As for the rich in the present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” 1 Timothy 6:17, 18
LHS Charitable Care Costs
Charitable care refers to the cost of caring for those residents who have few or no resources. Today, over 12% of the 65+ population in Lucas County live in poverty. This is higher than the national rate of 9.7%.
Medicaid is the health insurance program for these individuals and families with low incomes and limited financial resources. It is funded jointly by the state and federal governments and is managed by the states.
Lutheran Homes Society skilled nursing facilities depend on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance companies to reimburse for the cost of services. On average, 55% of skilled nursing beds in LHS facilities are occupied by Medicaid recipients. Under the current rates, Medicaid reimbursements to LHS for skilled nursing beds in LHS facilities average $174 each day for each resident, while costs for each Medicaid resident each day average $220. The difference in the Medicaid reimbursement and the LHS actual cost for each resident is approximately $46 per day.
As a result, this $46 per day for each Medicaid-reimbursed resident must be covered by LHS. Given the number of Medicaid beds in each skilled nursing facility, the charitable care provided by LHS is substantial. The need for charitable services will increase as nationally the 3.5 million population of the over-65 age group will grow to 9.5 billion by 2030. Your donation will help others receive the care they so desperately need.
Given the current and projected needs to assist individuals with limited resources cover the costs of health care and skilled nursing care, Lutheran Homes Society has worked hard to expand services that allow the neediest to be served, as well as to fill in the gaps where no services exist in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
Accordingly, LHS has delivered direct and community benefit charitable care to residents in those service areas. For 2011, the direct and community benefit charitable care totaled over $4.1 million; in 2012 direct charitable care costs increased substantially from nearly $300,000 to nearly $900,000. Total charitable care in 2012 equaled nearly $5 million. Community benefit charitable care includes costs associated with medical education and prevention services, wellness programs, and community-based medical services.
|LHS Charitable Care
||$ 4.1 million
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Responding to the Need
“We are put on this earth, as scripture tells us, not to leave things the way they are, but to transform lives so these lives bear the mark of our concern and love.” Erich Fromme
LHS Response to the Need for Charitable Care
In March 2005, the Lutheran Homes Society Board of Directors adopted the Benevolent Care Policy, which affirms the commitment of LHS to this care and outlines the basis upon which LHS delivers benevolent (charitable) care. From its inception, the LHS commitment to provide charitable care to its residents in need has been paramount.
Lutheran Homes Society works to take full advantage of the benefits from governmental resources to provide skilled nursing care to residents of limited means, while being aware that such reimbursements fall short of the need; thus, the need for charitable care.
Services are never denied to a resident because of the inability to pay for those services; nor is there a distinction in the level of care between private pay, Medicaid, or Medicare recipients. All residents are delivered the same level of care.
LHS Affordable Housing Ministry
Recognizing that the necessity of charging residents to live in independent living facilities may place entering such a facility beyond the means of some, Lutheran Homes Society strives to continue to expand its affordable housing ministry to make quality living with service coordination services available to those with fixed and limited incomes.
In northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, LHS provides a total of 696 independent housing apartments with 436 of those units available as HUD subsidized housing to limited-income seniors age 62 and over with limited incomes.
In addition to providing affordable housing to those who could otherwise not afford it, LHS also provides service coordination in its housing communities to ensure seniors are able to access local community-based services. These services allow residents to remain independent longer, avoiding premature admission to more costly skilled nursing facilities.
LHS Responds with Compassionate Care
For over 150 years, Lutheran Homes Society has met the needs of care recipients in the northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan areas. As followers of Christ, we are called to meet the needs of those who need to feel the healing touch of LHS ministries. Those like:
“Millie” from an LHS independent living housing facility who stated,
“If I didn’t live here, I would have never known that I was eligible for extra help with my prescription costs.”
Or, “Emma” from another LHS independent living housing facility, who said,
“I appreciate Lutheran Homes Society providing me a place with affordable housing and saving me money that I don’t have. I could not afford this housing without help. I am on a fixed income and now can afford retirement living.”
Donations will help with this care in the following ways:
- $15 each month provides non-perishable food items to an LHS independent living resident.
- $50 will cover the cost difference between the Medicaid-reimbursed cost for one bed in a skilled nursing facility versus the actual cost to LHS.
- $75 will pay for an over-bed table for a skilled nursing care resident.
- $75 will pay for a walker for a skilled nursing care resident.
- $150 will pay for social service intervention to maintain medical benefits for one independent living resident.
- $300 will pay for a bariatric wheel chair for a skilled nursing care resident.
The needs continue for charitable and subsidized care. The need for donors increases as well. Donors who are interested in assisting to meet the charitable needs of residents, may give to the LHS Annual Fund. The fund’s primary purpose is to subsidize charitable care and services delivered by LHS ministries that are not covered by reimbursement and were not budgeted for the applicable calendar year.
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