Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of services does Meridian Services provide?

Meridian Services provides a wide range of services to individuals, or persons served, including residential or supervised living services (SLS), in- home support services (IHS), semi-independent living services (SILS), Eidelweiss respite services, our club ventures program, social recreation services, independent living services (CADI), PCA Choice, case management services, conservatorship and guardianship services, support coordination, and service coordination.

Whom does Meridian Services serve?

We have experience serving people with a variety of needs and diagnoses. These include adults and children with a range of developmental disabilities and related conditions, mental health diagnosis, dual diagnosis, hearing and/or visual impaired, physically disabled, chemically dependent, and challenging behaviors. We also serve older Americans in need of assistance.

What are Meridian Services’ responsibilities?

Meridian Services is responsible for the monitoring and implementation of habilitation services in a consumer’s home. This includes hiring and training staff, scheduling, and program implementation. Each consumer’s designated Program Manager monitors their program plans, supervises the program’s staff, and strives to insure family satisfaction.

Who pays for these services?

Depending upon the service type, funding is generally received through a variety and/or combination of financial sources or benefits. These would include, but are not limited to funding through the consumer’s waiver, Social Security (SS, SSI, RSDI), Group Residential Housing (GRH), wages, and other sources. Though this area can be addressed during the intake process, an individual’s county Case Manager can be contacted for further discussion of specific funding sources.

Do the people in Meridian Services residential programs live in a regular house, or what is the group home like?

A group home, now referred to as Supervised Living Services (SLS), is very much like a “regular” home. The homes are purchased or rented and are located in community neighborhoods. Each consumer has their own bedroom with the shared common areas, including a living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and so on. Life in these homes is intended to be as normal as possible with the persons served going to work or school during the day and returning home in the evening.

Are you a medical facility, like a nursing home?

We are under a different license than nursing home facilities. We do, however, often provide services to people with specific medical needs, including tracheostomy care and breathing support, catheterization and bowel protocols, diabetic care, including insulin mixing and injection, the use of Hoyer lifts and power wheelchairs.

What happens when a staff person calls in sick?

When a staff person calls in sick to a residential shift, the staff on duty is required to stay at the site until a replacement staff is found. At no time will a residential shift staff the facility without being relieved by another staff person. When this occurs within an in-home services, independent living skills, or semi-independent living skills program, the Program Manger will locate a replacement staff or cover the shift as necessary. If a replacement staff is not immediately available and it is impossible for the Program Manager to cover the shift, those hours can be rescheduled and made up on another day.

Who is responsible for scheduling and providing transportation to medical appointments?

In a residential program, the Program Manager arranges medical appointments and ensures transportation is provided. In the In-Home Services program, guardians are responsible for the ongoing medical needs. Meridian Services staff members can provide assistance in this area, including transporting, if requested by the guardian and/or family member.

Who is responsible for scheduling and providing transportation to medical appointments?

In a residential program, the Program Manager arranges medical appointments and ensures transportation is provided. In the in-home services program, guardians are responsible for the ongoing medical needs. Meridian Services staff members can provide assistance in this area, including transporting, if requested by the guardian and/or family member.

Can an individual decorate their own room?

Meridian Services encourages persons served to decorate their bedrooms and to make the room their own.

Can someone living in one of Meridian Services’ homes have friends over?

We encourage persons served to invite friends to visit them in their homes. The frequency and duration of these visits may be subject to determination by the team depending on the needs and vulnerabilities of the resident.

Can someone living in one of Meridian Services’ homes have cable/internet in their rooms?

Meridian Services does not provide these services, but those living in the homes are welcome to purchase cable and internet services using their own funds. The purchasing of these services may be reviewed by the consumer’s team in respect to vulnerabilities and appropriateness, addressing any concerns that may result in having these available in a private area.

Are you a PCA (Personal Care Attendant) agency?

While we are not a PCA or Personal Care Attendants agency, as such, we have a contract to provide PCA Choice as an option of the Personal Care Assistance program. This innovative program allows individuals who receive PCA services significant control over their own care. They become the ones responsible for hiring, training, and all of the employment of their PCA’s. Otherwise, Meridian Services employees work as Habilitation Counselors, not as PCAs.

What is the difference between a Habilitation Counselor and a PCA or Personal Care Attendant?

A PCA will only ensure that cares such as bathing, dressing, eating, personal hygiene, and medical needs are met. A Habilitation Counselor has a broader range of responsibilities. They may assist with these tasks, but will also address a broader scope of services that may include community integration, recreation, assistance with bill paying and/or money management, socialization, apartment maintenance, street and community safety skills and grocery and personal needs shopping.

Do those receiving services go to school or a day program?

Yes, the majority of the individuals who receive our services attend a day program or community placement for vocational needs, are competitively employed, or attend school during the day.

What types of goals do people work on and how are they determined?

The consumer has the primary role in determining their own goals. Each consumer has a team, which usually consists of a county case manager, a family member or their guardian and/or legal representative, a day program representative, and a Meridian Services representative. These individuals’ role is to assist the consumer in making choices about which goals they will work on during the year. If needs change during the year or the goals prove to be ineffective, revisions are made.

What kind of community integration does Meridian Services do with the people it serves?

Meridian Services strives to ensure that the persons served whom we serve are integrated into the community through support of community job placement, recreational groups and outings, community education and/or church activities, day camps, school groups, and participation in clubs and various community organizations, according to each individual’s interest. When we first establish services with an individual, we ask them about their interests and decide together how those interests can be made a part of that person’s life. Our staff members are then available to assist as necessary so that the individuals can do the activities of their choice. Activities include regularly scheduled and one time events, and may include going to the movies, bowling, dances, community education classes, connection with peer groups, the Mall of America, Valleyfair, Twins baseball games, and so on.

Can families and friends visit persons served in SLS sites and are there specific visiting times?

Yes, families and friends are welcomed anytime at the SLS site and are encouraged to visit. While there are no established visiting times, considerations to the other residents in the house and activity schedules would need to be made.

If an individual goes home for a visit, do they have to be back at any certain time?

No, an individual living in one of our homes can determine with their family or guardian what time they will return home. Once the day and time have been decided, the individual only needs to notify the home’s staff of when they will return.

If the family member gives an individual a direction, can the staff members support and follow through with it?

Yes, assuming that the family member is the guardian and the direction would not violate any Vulnerable Adult/Maltreatment of a Minor or Rule 40 laws. Guardians often ask staff members to support a direction given to an individual and provide assistance to ensure the consumer is able to comply with that direction.

If a consumer is sick, will In-Home Services staff still come to work?

As long as the illness is not contagious, the staff members are able to provide care when the child is sick.

Do you provide respite services?

Meridian Services has a dual licensed respite home located in Anoka County. Our Eidelweiss Respite Program is licensed under Rule 203 and provides respite to persons served who reside within their family or foster home. The persons served typically utilize the home one time per month for a 3-4 day rotation.

Do you provide transportation for the individual?

All of our residential homes have vehicles for transporting persons served to appointments, meetings, errands and community outings. Individuals receiving in-home services, SILS, or ILS services can be transported by staff members’ personal vehicle which must pass a Vehicle Safety Checklist. All staff members who drive are screened to ensure that they possess proper insurance and have a current driver’s license. For persons served utilizing our Eidelweiss Respite home, the family or foster care provider is responsible for checking them into respite as well as picking them up at the end of their stay. The Respite home provides transportation to school and day programs, as well as recreational activities.

What is the interview process for your employees?

All of our employees complete an application and interview with a Human Resources representative as well as a second interview with the Program Manager and potential persons served the employee may work with. Human Resources also conducts a series of background checks including reviewing an employee’s criminal and driving records, as well as references from one’s former employers.

What training do Meridian Services employees receive?

Meridian Services requires that employees receive training in the Minnesota Vulnerable Adult/Maltreatment of Minors Act, the Minnesota Data Practices Act, Universal Precautions, Medication Administration, Basic First Aid and CPR, Minnesota Rule 40, Boundaries, Community Integration, Programming, Resident Rights, and any other information specific to the people with whom they will be working, including training on seizures, ADHD, autism, and sign language.

Why does Meridian Services have training requirements?

Our training requirements were also established by the State of Minnesota, under Minnesota Rule 245B. In addition, Meridian Services strives to exceed the state’s requirements, by providing our employees with training of an exceptional quality covering a wide range of topics related to meeting the needs of those we serve.

Why are there so many rules and regulations?

The rules and regulations were established by the State of Minnesota and are in place to ensure quality services as well as to ensure the health and safety of the vulnerable children and adults that we serve.

What can a family do if they want Meridian’s services but Meridian is not currently a provider in their county?

If Meridian Services is not currently contracted to provide services in your county, you may contact your county social worker to request this as well as contact Meridian of your interest. We often begin providing services in a county as a result of services being requested.
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