DRC helps Ofelia stay out of a nursing home

Ofelia's Story - Photo of a sunset over a field of flowers.

Community living can also be at risk when a misunderstanding occurs. Luckily, DRC can get involved and straighten out the confusion – and in the case of Ofelia Nunez, keep her from going into a nursing home. Ofelia lived comfortably in her own home with a service provider for 10 years. She thought of them as family. Suddenly the state’s Community Care Licensing (CCL) program and the regional center decided she should move to a nursing home because they said the provider was operating an unlicensed facility and that Ofelia now required more care.

 

Photo of Ofelia's family

Left to Right - Ophilia Crawford, Ofelia’s sister; Rebecca Auten, niece; Bebo Saab, clients’ rights advocate; Deanna Crawford, Ofeilia’s niece

Her family contacted DRC’s Office of Clients’ Right Advocacy. Bebo Saab, the clients’ rights advocate, worked closely with regional center case management to explain to CCL that the Lanterman Act allows Ofelia to receive supported living services in her own home regardless of how severe her disability or whether she needs help taking her medications. CCL listened, realized they were wrong and allowed Ofelia to stay in her home. “I was pleased working with Ofelia,” said Bebo. “She was very clear about where she wanted to live and considered her care providers to be extended family.”

 

DRC honored her and her family with a Client recognition award in 2018. Ofelia passed away earlier this year. Therefore, her family proudly accepted the award at DRC’s September board meeting. “Bebo was a lifesaver to my aunt,” said niece Deanna Crawford. “We were so happy she could stay where she wanted to live.”