Every day, Roberta’s disabilities present challenges that she must overcome. However, she does not let these challenges prevent her from living independently in her own home.
In 1997, Roberta began losing her vision due to diabetes. She worked up until she could no longer drive, and she is now legally blind.
“When you’ve had sight and you have to adapt to losing it, it’s really hard,” Roberta said.
Roberta also suffers from neuropathy, which causes numbness in the hands and feet. She has no feeling from the knees down and doesn’t have much feeling in her fingers. She has been in a wheelchair since 2003.
Despite all these challenges, Roberta can remain independent in her home with help from JEVS Financial Management Services (FMS), which allows adult disabled individuals in the state of Delaware to self-direct their own attendant care at home. Through FMS, Roberta was able to hire her husband, Brian, to be her care worker for 30 hours a week.
Brian helps Roberta with everything from bathing and meal preparation to checking her blood sugar and making sure she takes her medication.
“If I want to do something, he can set me up to do it,” Roberta said. “Without JEVS and having this service that allows him to take care of me, it would be so much more difficult.”
In addition to having Brian’s help, Roberta now has a new 7-week-old puppy named Baylee who will be trained to be her service dog. Since Roberta has trouble seeing and tends to drop things, Baylee can alert Roberta of objects that are in the way and help with picking things up. Baylee will also be able to detect when Roberta’s blood sugar level is high or low.
Roberta explained that the FMS program allows her to be as independent as she can be. If these services weren’t available, she believes they would try to talk her into assisted living.
“We don’t have to make that choice to leave our home,” Roberta said. “That is what JEVS is all about.”
Would you or someone you know benefit from this program? You can learn more about JEVS Financial Management Services here.