The Center for People With Disabilities
From Institution to Independence
Nursing Home Transitions
The primary goal of the Transition Program is to transition people with disabilities out of nursing homes and medical institutions back into their own homes. The Transition Program also provides life skills training, peer mentorship and household set up coordination to ensure individuals leaving a nursing home are supported and have the skills they need to be successful in the community.
There exists a pressing need in the community to support people with disabilities in transitioning from nursing care to independent home living. Institutionalized individuals have limited independence and marginal support. They are often medicalized, managed, or even 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.
Individuals who have lived in a nursing home are at a greater risk of returning to a nursing home due to lack of access to services. CPWD provides follow-up and assistive services – to people we have transitioned and anyone at risk of losing their housing and independence – to ensure individuals 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.
Graduating high school is a huge step for any youth and can be especially daunting for youth with disabilities and their families. Often services post high school change drastically as youth with disabilities move from have services provided by the school system to accessing “adult” services. CPWD staff work with these youth and families to plan for this shift, and prepare them for successful transitions from high school to the “real world,” be that job seeking, higher education or other vocational activities. Additionally, CPWD staff teach youth classes on socialization, self-advocacy, transportation and communication in partnership with local high school transition programs.
Starting in spring 2019 CPWD will be hosting a youth peer support group focused on self-advocacy to further support these youth as they transition from high school.