'He deserves dignity': Fuquay-Varina mom says shower 'fix' made bathroom unsafe for son with special needs

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Mom of boy with special needs says shower 'fix' made bathroom unsafe
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Mom of boy with special needs says shower 'fix' made bathroom unsafe

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fuquay-Varina mother says a recent bathroom renovation by the North Carolina's CAP/C program has made bathing her son with special needs "unsafe."

Michelle Finn said the entire bathroom in her home gets soaked when she bathes her son Joshua in the shower.

Joshua, 17, has special needs.

"I have to mop it up with two beach towels," she said. "It's unsafe for him. He has to sit next to the toilet on the floor to bathe."

North Carolina's CAP/C program, through the North Carolina Medicaid division, gave them financial assistance to renovate their bathroom so Finn can bathe her son safely.

She said the contractor told her the water would stay in the shower area.

"They told me it would be isolated right here," Finn said. "And that I wouldn't have to worry about this. That's the only reason I agreed to it."

The contractor said it was designed to be a "wet room" and it's just as Finn signed off on.

The company said it would need state approval and funding to add a glass enclosure and shower chair like she wants.

Finn hopes that will happen.

"He deserves to have a safe environment and he deserves dignity," Finn said. "I mean he's sitting on the floor next to my toilet right now, getting bathed. That's what you do with an animal. That's not what you do with a person."

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicaid, sent a statement saying:

"The priority of the Department of Health and Human Services is the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians, especially meeting the needs of those we serve. The CAP/C program is a home- and community-based services waiver program that promotes community inclusion and integration, and the department works closely with those in the program, families and the local case management agency to find solutions and provide support to meet the needs of those we serve. While confidentiality rules limit our ability to speak about a beneficiaries' personal situation (or eligibility/service), whenever we are notified of an issue we take immediate action to ascertain the facts and determine how we can assist with resolution."