The Center for People With Disabilities

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From Institution to Independence

Nursing Home Transitions

CPWD’s Community Transition Services’ (CTS) primary goal is to transition people with disabilities out of nursing homes and medical institutions back into their own homes. CTS also provide supportand training for life skills and developing and maintaining independence.

There exists a pressing need in the community to support people with disabilities in transitioning from nursing care to independent home living. Institutionalized disabled individuals have limited independence and marginal support. They are often medicalized or managed, or worse, dismissed because hospitals and caseworkers do not have adequate referrals to support transition from institution to home living.

The fact is that every person transitioned from a nursing care facility or other institution to a home setting, even with in-home support, will save society money. Specifically, the comparative costs for care are about $81,000/yr for nursing home residence and $20,000 – $60,000/yr for

home health care. That’s a $20,000 – $60,000/yr per person savings in Medicaid fees supported by taxpayers. But what’s even more important than the dollars saved is the quality of life of the individuals served. People with any kind of disability have the potential and ability to live rich and fulfilling lives. With transition support and independence, many go on to develop professional skills and gain employment. They also integrate back into families and communities as regular citizens. For a person with a disability, independence and opportunity is priceless.

At CPWD, members of our team who are people with disabilities have also joined the Community Living Advisory Group to ensure that Medicaid benefits go towards helping people to integrate into and live in the community, as well as the Colorado Choice Transition Advisory Committee, to work towards transitioning all people with disabilities who choose to do so from nursing homes into independent living.

Institutional Diversion

Once people with disabilities transition from nursing home to their own home, there is always a risk that, if they don’t receive the assistive services they need, they could wind up back nursing home. CPWD provides follow-up and assistive services – to people we have transitioned and anyone at risk of losing their housing and independence – to ensure that people who have transitioned have the supports and resources they need to remain independent. These include annual recertification of housing vouchers, self-advocacy training to maintain housing and request reasonable accommodations, continued independent living skills training, peer support, Home Health, and other supports for activities of daily living and independence.

Youth Transitions

CPWD specializes in transitioning youth from high school to the “real world,” be that job seeking, higher education or other vocational acitivities. Students with disabilities in public schools are granted an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) which also comes with disability benefits. However, the moment they graduate, these benefits and services disappear, and they are on their own. Now considered adults, they need to apply for waivers and other benefits in order to receive the assistance they need to maintain their activities of daily living and independence. CPWD has expert transitions coordinators that help students and families plan ahead for this shift, and prepare them for successful transitions from high school.

For more information about nursing home and youth transitions,
Contact: Janice A. McIntosh, RN | Home Health Administrator
The Center for People with Disabilities, Phone: (303)442-8662, ext 228 | Email

1675 Range Street
Boulder Colorado 80301

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