Nursing Facility Transition
At the Ann Arbor CIL, we think it is important that individuals be able to make informed choices and decide for themselves where they want to live.
Too often, people with disabilities end up in nursing homes not because they need to be, but just because of circumstances. When that happens, they often don’t have the resources or know-how to achieve an independent living arrangement in the community. Instead they feel stuck in an environment that limits their potential.
Through our Nursing Facility Transition program, we help many individuals each year successfully move out of nursing homes and achieve an independent community living arrangement.
Moving out of a nursing home and reintegrating into the community can be a challenging and complicated process. Our Occupational Therapist Dorothy Denner works hard to ensure that when someone moves out on their own, it is not only emotionally rewarding, but also safe, secure, and medically appropriate.
To begin the transition process, Dorothy first meets with individuals in nursing facilities who are interested in learning more about whether they can live independently. She helps them learn about options and evaluate if moving out of a nursing facility and into their own home is the right thing for them to do. There are many things to think about, and there are a lot of risks. But when it can work out, it means a big difference.
If achieving independent living seems appropriate, Dorothy works with the individual to develop a Person-Centered-Plan outlining the steps it will take to successfully transition. She and the individual then work together to explore accessible housing options, in-home health services, out-patient medical care, and accessible transportation. Dorothy also assists people in finding resources for home accessibility modifications and in finding household items such as furniture and kitchen equipment.
When all the basics are in place, one of the most important things we do is help people find social and recreational pursuits. After all, getting on a path to a full and meaningful life means not just living independently, but living in a community with others.
When individuals are successful in moving out of a nursing home and into a community living environment, lives are transformed. After any successful move, we keep in close contact with individuals in the days and months that follow to ensure that a happy move turns into a long-term, successful living arrangement.
Dorothy and our Nursing Facility Transition program work collaboratively with the Area Agency on Aging 1b, and the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Nursing Facility Transition Project.