Ralph & Kim Molinar family

Ralph Molinar was at work one morning in February 2015 when his right hand lost strength. He reached out to his wife. “He called me and said, ‘my right hand isn’t working. I can’t even grip a pen. I don’t know what is going on, but I need you to come and get me.’” Kim Molinar recalls.

Ralph progressively grew worse. Kim remembers: “They just couldn’t find that he had had a stroke, because it was in the brainstem area. There is so much bone in that area that they couldn’t see it.” Ralph remained in the hospital for months. Eventually, he was discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

“If you really care about your loved one, having them in a skilled nursing facility is torture. The goal was always to get him home.”

Recently, federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved a change to Colorado law affecting In Home Support Services (IHSS). A spouse is now allowed to be hired by an In–Home Support Services (IHSS) agency, such as The Independence Center, to provide care for his or her disabled spouse. As an employee of the IHSS agency, a caregiving spouse can receive all the perks and benefits of being an employee, just like at any other job.

“The Independence Center notified me when changes to the law went into effect and we were able to start the paperwork. I love my husband. I’m so thankful he’s home,” Kim says.

If you or someone you know is caring for a spouse or loved one with a disability, find out if you can qualify as a paid caregiver by calling The Independence Center home health department at 719- 471-8181 x 130.