Q&A: Brooke’s story

Brooke Maroney with her mother Kerstin

Portland resident Kerstin Maroney joins with other families from across the state in asking Congress not to cut Medicaid.

She shares her family’s story here. 

Where do you live?

We live in Multnomah Village. Our daughter Brooke lives in a basement apartment attached to our family’s home.

She requires assistance with all of her daily living and self-care needs and receives 24/7 supported living services.

Can you tell us a little about Brooke? What does she enjoy?

Brooke is a nonverbal 21-year-old with a profound intellectual disability. She enjoys community outings, water parks, dining out and riding carousels and elevators.

What home and community supports is she able to access through Medicaid?

The supported living services that Medicaid provides enable Brooke to live in her family’s home while maintaining as much independence as possible. Her staff takes care of her daily living needs, allowing her parents to act as parents and not full-time caregivers.

Brooke exercising at Imagine Possibilities, a day program available through Medicaid.

What do these kind of interactions mean for her quality of life?

The intensity of Brooke’s needs made it difficult – at times impossible – for us (her parents) to take Brooke into the community. Before these services, Brooke lived a life of destructive boredom. Both she and our family suffered from the social isolation.

We partner with Brooke’s staff to regularly address behaviors and issues as they arise. We provide the history and expertise while the staff tends to Brooke’s daily needs: meal preparation, hygiene, dressing, etc. We have no family who can help us. Life without these services would be a daily struggle.

What would you say to Members of Congress who are considering making deep cuts to Medicaid that would impact these programs?

I ask Members of Congress not to abandon our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and to maintain the critical supports that enable Brooke and our family to enjoy a life that includes community inclusion.

We are getting older and less physically able to meet the demands Brooke’s care requires. Losing this Medicaid safety net will, quite frankly, devastate both Brooke and our family.

Let your federal representatives know how the Oregon Health Plan helps you.

Call 202-224-3121 or use this link to find their mailing or email address. Make it clear that Medicaid caps and cuts will hurt people with disabilities.

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