Providing the Foundation to Live Life Again
Stopped in her car at a red light, Mary Karam panicked when she started rolling backwards because she wasn’t able to feel her foot slipping off the brake. Suffering from diabetic neuropathy, which caused numbness and pain in her feet, Mary realized she needed help. She couldn’t stand for long and was falling often, making it nearly impossible for Mary to care for herself and her two children. Not being able to safely do basic activities like bathing, cooking and cleaning also made the depression and anxiety she struggled with worse.
Then Mary became a WellCare member as part of Missouri’s Medicaid managed care program, and took the opportunity to call member services to see if she could get a shower chair to help her bathe on her own.
Faith Andrulot, a WellCare care manager, could hear Mary’s sadness over the phone. She arranged for the shower chair to be sent to Mary. The call could have ended there, but our holistic care approach helped Faith listen beyond the initial request to uncover additional challenges Mary was facing.
Faith helped her secure a needed prescription and enabled Mary to better manage nearly 20 other medications she was already taking. She also accessed WellCare’s national database of more than 200,000 social service resources, pinpointing local care services to help Mary with grocery shopping, nutritious meal preparation and chores around the home. “It was the first time in a long time I felt really listened to and heard,” Mary said.
A few months later, Faith is proud of what she and Mary have accomplished together, all by phone. “When you listen beyond the words you can truly connect. Mary just needed one person to believe in her to do better. Mary’s voice is happier, her family is getting healthier meals, she’s lost weight and her diabetes A1c test has moved a full percentage point down. She’s doing everything she’s supposed to be doing.”
“It was the first time in a long time I felt really listened to and heard.”
Without WellCare’s holistic approach, Mary’s condition may have worsened. Addressing her self-care and nutrition put her on a path towards improving her health. This turnaround also had a positive impact on Mary’s children. Seven-year-old Rayan is grateful for Faith’s intervention “because now I know if I ask my mom to go the park she will say yes. Also before we used to eat only junk food. Now I’m eating healthy things like fruit.”