First Person: Sylvia Samson
For Sylvia Samson, family is very important. She is the proud mother of 4 – Zartasha, Alishba, Zeenish and Sameer – and if you have a conversation with her, it will become evident that family is more than just blood relations. Family includes her church community, the Personal Assistants who work in her home, and everyone at Consumer Directed Choices.
“From the first day, Consumer Directed Choices has been like a part of the family,” Sylvia said. “Since we joined the program in 2006, we have always felt a connection to all of the staff there.”
Sylvia is a Designated Representative for 3 of her children who use Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA). As Sylvia stated, “When our kids were born, we did not know they would ever have a disability. We have all had to adjust over time as they now require total care.” For Sylvia, the most important benefit to using CDPA is that her family remains together since her children are able to live at home. “I see them every day. I may be busy, or at work, but I know they are well cared for and they are at home with all of us where they belong. It makes me feel more comfortable to have them with us. I work in a nursing home, and I know we try to make it a home-like environment for those who live there, but nothing is the same as actually being home.”
Sylvia and her family were providing care to Alishba, Zeenish and Sameer when a Medicaid Service Coordinator mentioned CDPA. Sylvia knew her children were going to need more help and that family alone would not be able to meet their needs. “Family was always helpful,” said Sylvia. “But, I knew consistent help besides family would make everyone’s life easier. Consumer directed care just made sense to all of us. I can hire PAs who understand our culture, our food, our language. My children are in the community, doing things that would not be possible if they lived in a nursing home.”
When asked what advice she would offer to other parents who are new to CDPA, Sylvia did not hesitate to say, “Just stick with the program. Consumer Directed Personal Assistance offers benefits to the entire family. This is an excellent program and is helpful to so many. For me – it just makes me happy to have my loved ones at home with me. Over time, other parents will learn the benefits of CDPA too!”