Charlene, St. Louis

Charlene is 51 years old and lives in University City. She suffers from muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair. Charlene was also recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and has severe arthritis. Due to her poor health, she was forced to stop working 12 years ago and is now on disability.

Charlene qualifies for Medicaid and uses Consumer Directed Services which allows her to live independently. CDS provides an in-home caregiver who helps her with her daily needs, like showering, cooking, and grocery shopping. Medicaid also provides transportation so Charlene has a way to get to her doctor’s appointments. The care provided by Medicaid has given Charlene quality of life and she worries that the programs she relies on will be taken away. “I didn’t put myself in this position and would change it if I could,” says Charlene. Without Medicaid, Charlene would be forced to enter an assisted living home and any semblance of independence and normalcy would be taken from her.