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Lost in the Bayou: Angelina Iles’ Struggle to Save Her Brother

Angelina Iles is a retired Rapides Parish School System employee, a widow, a mother of four, and a Democrat. But, for the past few years, Angelina has been Anthony Batiste’s big sister who has fought tenaciously to get him the life saving care he has needed.

In the two years since a 2010 stroke paralyzed Anthony’s left side, Angelina has engaged Louisiana Medicaid as her brother’s advocate during the transition to Bayou Health. She has fought to keep him out of nursing homes after a horrific experience with one. She has fought to get him the medicines he needs. She has fought to get the in-home care support she will need in order to continue caring for Anthony.

In this first installment of this story, Angelina talks about her brother and the challenges she’s faced in getting him care. Initially, the problem was that he was uninsured. Then, as his condition declined in part due to restrictions on physical therapy, she discusses learning about the limitations of Medicaid and the personnel matters that result from paying care givers minimum wage-level pay.

Angelina also describes her brother’s experience in a nursing home a couple of years back that gave her a steely resolve not to allow Anthony to be forced into living in a nursing home.

Bruce Blaney ran the State of Louisiana’s Office of Citizens With Developmental Disabilities between 1996 and 2001. That was during the Mike Foster administration. He was at DHH when Foster appointed Bobby Jindal to run the department.

Blaney now works as coordinator of the Louisiana Supported Living Network, a group of home care providers. He says that the problems Angelina Iles has experience in the past two years of fending for Anthony are the direct result of an attack on home care providers by nursing home interests and their allies.

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Originally published: Dec 12, 2012