One of the most significant barriers for persons transitioning back into the community from long-term care facilities is the lack of affordable, accessible, safe and integrated housing. Take Me Home, West Virginia has a full-time housing coordinator who works to enhance housing opportunities for all individuals transitioning from long-term care facilities to the community and four housing specialists positioned across the state who work with transition coordinators to identify available community housing options.
Approximately half of the Take Me Home, West Virginia participants return to previously established housing in the community whether a rental unit or the participant’s own home or a family home. For the other half, appropriate housing must be found to accommodate the participant’s needs. Transition coordinators work one-on-one with participants and their transition team to determine the type of housing that would best meet their needs and the availability of affordable, accessible housing in the geographic area they want to live in.
For Take Me Home, West Virginia participants returning to housing already established, many may still need modifications to their existing home in order to meet accessibility needs and ensure a successful and safe transition home. Transition coordinators with assistance from the housing coordinator, housing specialists, facility occupational therapy/physical therapy (OT/PT) staff, and other individuals will evaluate the community housing to determine what modifications might be needed to accommodate the participant’s needs and allow them the highest level of independence possible. Possible modifications might include a ramp, bathroom modifications including the addition of grab bars and handrails and widening of doorways. The accessibility modifications will depend upon the current state of the home and the participant’s individualized needs.
Navigating Accessible Community Housing