A Day in the Life: The residential habilitation certification team ensures safety, quality care for residents

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Sandi Frelly and Michaela Tourville, medical program specialists, meet with residential habilitation agency staff during an agency survey.

The Division of Licensing and Certification – not to be confused with Vital Records or Occupational Licenses – licenses and certifies 18 distinct healthcare facilities and agency types in Idaho on an ongoing basis to make sure residents are safe and are receiving high-quality care.

Residential Habilitation (ResHab) agencies are relatively young agencies, born in the 1990s when there was a big push to integrate people with developmental and/or physical disabilities into the community and out of state-run facilities. ResHab facilities are funded by Medicaid, and provide caretaking and education services to help adults 18 and older and who qualify for the program to learn to live more independently in the community with staff support.

Participants may receive support from ResHab staff that could range from caretaker visits of a few hours per day, to a high or intense level of support, such as 24-hour one-to one support. ResHab staff help participants by providing skills training. This can include multiple areas of skills, such as medication management, daily living skills, socialization, behavior shaping and management, mobilization, and self-direction, which is an option for Medicaid participants who choose which services and supports they will spend their budget on.

The goal is to reduce the level of services participants need by teaching the skills participants need to be safe in the community with minimal support. Every participant has a different plan that is developed with the person-centered planning team to fit their individual needs. Participants sometimes learn skills as simple as wiping a counter top, to complex skills such as identifying and taking the correct bus route, which will increase their independence in mobility.

The Boise ResHab survey team is responsible for protecting these participants by ensuring that the services provided by ResHab staff and facilities are high quality and compliant with all of the rules and regulations they are subject to. The team for this survey includes Eric Brown, Sandi Frelly, and Michaela Tourville. “This job allows me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities,” Sandi said. Continue reading “A Day in the Life: The residential habilitation certification team ensures safety, quality care for residents”