Success Stories

Velma Woods

It took a team of dedicated people to assist Velma Woods to leave the nursing facility in which she had spent four years.  Velma wanted her independence back and when she talked to her social worker at the facility she learned about the Take Me Home, West Virginia Money Follows the Person program and how it could help her get back to her home.  
Once the social worker referred Velma to the program, a meeting was set up with the Take Me Home WV Transition Navigator, Robbie Day.  Robbie discussed the program’s procedure and benefits and how it could help her gain back her independence and allow her to live in her own home.  Thereafter, she assisted her with applying for an apartment and obtaining essential household items.  She also got Velma’s family involved in making the big decision to move to a different town.  She made her decision and through the program, Velma gained back her independence.  She now has the freedom to live on her own and do what she wants.  Velma encourages others to take the chance to return home.
When asked how she feels to live independently, Velma replied “When I wake up in the morning and look around, I feel blessed.  My blues are gone.  My family is near and I have a worker who cares about me, but most of all I have gained my freedom.”


Mary Blackmon

Mary resided in a nursing facility for nearly two years before transitioning to her own apartment in Wayne, W.Va. through the Take Me Home, West Virginia program. While in the facility, she learned skills to help her live independently. However, Mary was very lonely in the nursing home and eager to live independently in her community.

She learned about Take Me Home, West Virginia through the nursing home social worker who made a referral, which lead to Mary being connected with Transition Navigator, Sally Blackburn. Through the program, Sally was able to provide the support, services and household items Mary needed to live on her own. “She was able to help me prove that I could do this,” Mary said.
Mary is now living alone for the first time in her life and says that her transition has shown her that she is very independent. She wants others who are considering transitioning to their own home to know that they can do it and “can be very independent in returning to their home.”


Mae and Willis Goldizen

Mae Goldizen had spent 18 months in an Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home.  Her Husband, Willis, believed the nursing home environment was not conducive for her physical and mental well-being.  He stated that she often seemed isolated and unresponsive and was always cold.  He felt that, with help, he could provide her more individualized care in the home they had shared for more than 50 years.

The nursing home social worker informed the Goldizens of the Take Me Home, West Virginia program and introduced them to Transition Navigator Debbie Royalty. Willis said that Debbie, who guided them through the transition process, did everything she could to help Mae return home.  Take Me Home, West Virginia provided funds for necessary modifications of the couple’s home. In addition, the program provided a Personal Emergency Response System and various other items to help ensure safety in the home. Debbie also worked with the Goldizens, nursing home staff and community service providers to arrange needed in-home services.

Willis is thrilled to have his wife home with him, and Mae seems happy as well.  The couple find themselves interacting more and Willis says his wife seems more jolly, alert and responsive.  “She regularly pays attention to and provides participation in the conversation going on.  She is comfortable, has her desk of work she can do and she is warm,” he said. Plus, he remarks, her ability to remember and recognize friends and family seems to have improved.  “While in the nursing home, she knew me sometimes.  Here she knows me most times.” He encourages anyone in a nursing home who wishes to return to their community to do so if at all possible and believes that the Take Me Home, West Virginia program was the only way he was able to bring his wife home.


Debra Mullenax

Debra Mullenax 61, spent a year in a nursing facility before returning home with help from the Take Me Home, West Virginia program.  While in the facility, Mullenax was able to get therapy she needed to recover from a stroke, but what she really wanted was to return home to be near her family.

An employee of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources told Debra about the Take Me Home, West Virginia.  Through her Transition Navigator, the program was able to give Debra the moral support, services and household items she needed to return home.  "She was very helpful," Debra says, "A great person."

Now that she is home.  Debra is enjoying special time with her family, especially participating in activities with her grandchildren.  She's also excited to be able to cook again, something she really enjoys doing.  For people interested in returning to the community she says, "Connect with Take Me Home, West Virginia!"

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