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Thread: Almost a Fulbright scholar. Terrified about how to get care.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Almost a Fulbright scholar. Terrified about how to get care.

    Hello! I just received some great piece of news, I've been preselected to become a Fulbright Scholar!

    I'm happy as well as terrified. I'm a complete C6 who uses Enemeez three times a week, and sometimes needs digital stimulation. I'll be living in a campus dorm room and I believe I'll need assistance during weekdays to get up from bed, shower and to do my BP. I already spoke to some universities in CA and they don't include assistance to these kinds of needs.

    What kind of professional would be able to help me? LVN? RN?
    Would it be possible to hire an assistant to help me get out of bed every day, helping me take a shower, do my BP and dressing me up?
    What should I do if I get sick and need extra assistance!!??
    How much money per month can you imagine this would cost? Do you think I should ask for this money together with the scholarship?
    Is there any other thing I should take into consideration?

    I don't want to give up on my dream of studying in the US, but I'm honestly terrified.

    Any help will be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stormycoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    B-vILLE Oregon
    "The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946."

    Where are you attempting to be transferred/exchanged from? Oh Argentina.. wow..
    That is exciting but I don't believe you know what your in for, thats why your terrified. Dont mean to crush your dreams but..also the entity who enacted this grant should have at least some experience/connections/mapping/ with abnormal cases such as yourself. As in transfering abroad/housing/care/etc..
    Sounds as if you were just injured..Except for independent living centers that help do what care your describing is within perimeters, yeah you might have a hard time putting all this together..we have disability initiatives within the states if your a resident, otherwise??
    Nonetheless, keep us updated. Sounds interesting & we can assist in these sort of areas.!!
    I am not your rolling wheels
    I am the highway
    I am not your carpet ride
    I am the sky
    I am not your blowing wind
    I am the lightning
    I am not your autumn moon
    I am the night, the night..

  3. #3
    There's a thread from 2015 entitled "Update on College" from CC member Domosoyo detailing all the arrangements she made for her daughter's needs before she moved into college. I can't copy it off of Care Cure for you because I'm using a proxy server. Hopefully, one of the other members will locate it and post. Most major US colleges have an Office of Disability Services that may be able to help you locate local care agencies and let you know how to get a room with a roll-in shower. Pricing for aides varies according to the training and certification of the provider. When we needed them, we paid an agency 25 dollars an hour. Will you have health care insurance as a Fulbright scholar? SCI in the US is mucho expensive. If there's a student insurance policy included with the scholarship you'll need to read it carefully to make sure it covers your catheter supplies and, if need, hospital stays. If you have a choice of colleges, try to pick one close to a hospital with some experience in SCI rehabilitation. Here's a list

  4. #4

  5. #5
    A nursing assistant can be trained to do your bowel program .. Become a certified bowel provider.This varies fr state to state. You could check with local SCI centers and home health agencies. CWO

  6. #6
    As mentioned, many colleges have a Disability Services office. Also, bigger communities, cities, have a Center for Independent Living, which is a separate entity from a college's disability services.
    Suggest you focus on a location that has BOTH of these available to you. I believe University of California at Berkeley should be on your list. They pretty much started the model programs for significantly disabled persons attending the college, back in the 1970's.
    You can also use the internet to find colleges/cities along these lines.
    Also, every state has a government sponsored vocational rehabilitation program that you should contact to find out if you would qualify for help. I don't know if assistance is provided to a student from a foreign country - it might have something to do with length of stay. Many years ago, as a counselor in this program I once assisted a student from Mexico, here for about 5 years, and who only needed gas allowance as his other expenses were covered.

  7. #7
    I really can't add much more to this discussion. I would encourage you to choose your school wisely - make sure that there is an Office for Disability Services. That will be key to making this work. Also, if you go to a major university they may have an Independent Living Center associated with them. Do your research and you should be able to make this work. It will take time and patience, but I think that you can do it!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    That is a huge move and congratulations!
    I guess my first question is how will you pay for assistants, prescriptions, doctor visits, wheelchair repair etc?
    Does the Fulbright cover any of that? If you don't know, ask.
    You should be able to hire assistants from the student population at the college. Ask the campus Disability Resource Center.
    Where will you be studying?

  9. #9
    C5C6, please send me your email address so Dr. Morton can put you in touch with people we know from California-

  10. #10
    Are you only looking at CA for schools? What field of study? There are some schools in the USA who provide model programs to accommodate the needs to disabled students. UC Berkley has a good program, but you might want to look at the University of Arizona, as well as University of Illinois at Champange/Urbana. There are others too.

    While attendant services is generally not covered, you may be eligible for services such as note takers or assistance getting to classes. Are you planning to stay in the dorms (where you would have meals provided) or in a on-campus apartment or in an apartment off campus?

    You can hire someone to do the things you indicate you need. I would strongly recommend though that initially you bring someone with you who can provide this care while you are interviewing and hiring someone. I would not recommend hiring someone sight unseen remotely from Argentina. Other students would be your main source of potential PCAs, and putting ads on campus bulletin boards or asking for instructors to announce the job opening in classes (for example, in a school of nursing, OT, or PT) are often good options for finding someone interested in this type of work.

    For PCA (personal care attendant) services in CA, the going rate is $12-15/hour for those with little or no experience. Technically you would also be obligated to pay Social Security taxes and withhold income tax, although many people don't do this and get away with it. Having a book-keeper manage your payroll might be easiest. You also need to have at least two people you hire, as you can't have someone work 7 days/week, legally. Most often the minimum time you will find that you can hire someone for PCA work is a 2 hour shift. If you can get this included in your scholarship expenses, that would definitely be a plus.


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