Hello, for those of you who don’t know me my name is Ann Kaplow and I am an Open Doors (Money Follows the Person) Transition Specialist at the Center For Disability Rights. My job is to help people transition out of nursing facilities and make sure that they have the services and resources that they need to live successfully in the community. Normally when I am working with someone I meet with them at the nursing facility to work on their discharge; however, during the pandemic this has been impossible. All my contacts with residents, families, and social workers have been on the phone or Zoom meetings. I didn’t know if I would be able to continue transitions during the pandemic but have found that I am busier than ever.
I would like to share with you the stories of two people I worked with who were both able to move into their new apartments on December 1, 2020. Both came from a nursing facility in Wayne County that has had many cases of Covid-19. One is a 60 year-old man who had a stroke and ended up in a nursing facility. He needed to find a new accessible apartment and also needed aide service in his home. I referred him to our Olmstead Housing Subsidy Program for help with finding an apartment. After he found an apartment I helped him get enrolled in an Managed Long Term Care Plan that is providing his equipment, aide service, and other supports. When we told him of his discharge date he couldn’t stop thanking us. I was at the apartment when he got home. He kept saying how happy he was to be home and how much he appreciated our help. He said how much he was looking forward to living in his own home and doing things on his own schedule.
The second person is a 66 year-old man who went to the nursing facility following a leg amputation. He couldn’t return to his apartment as it had 14 steps. I made a referral to our Olmstead Housing Subsidy Program for him and he also found an accessible apartment, which was very close to where his sister lives. I met him at his apartment the day he moved in. He couldn’t believe the furniture and household belongings we were able to get for him through the Olmstead Housing Subsidy program and was thrilled that the sheets were his favorite color. He said he couldn’t wait to take a nap in his new bed and was looking forward to an undisturbed night’s sleep. His sister was coming over that day to help him unpack.
This meant so much to me during this time of the pandemic to be able to help two individuals leave the nursing facility and move into their new homes. It gave me great satisfaction to help improve their quality of life during such a disruptive time and to know that they are now safer and able to start new lives in the community.