By Barb Manning and Don Smith
The Ability Center’s Nursing Home Transition Program has moved many individuals out of nursing facilities and into their own homes. Don Smith and Nicole Cape staff this program with energy and sensitivity. They work with individuals with disabilities throughout the process, assisting them at every level from finding suitable housing to setting up payees to manage their finances.
When Don began working for the program, he had to search out individuals interested in leaving nursing facilities. Now, he receives referrals from many social workers and case managers. Don begins the transition process by meeting with potential candidates for the program. He tries to gauge their enthusiasm for leaving their nursing facility, as well as their capacity for maintaining their independence once they are on their own.
When appropriate, he meets with the case managers and social workers of individuals to determine what community supports are necessary. Don then works with Amy Kerchevall, Equipment Loan Manager to coordinate the collection of furniture and household goods with members of the Auxiliary to The Ability Center, as well as other community resources. At this point, Don and Nicole arrange for the big move. Once Don and Nicole establish consumers in their new homes, Tiffany Tierney follows up for several weeks to ensure that individuals can and are maintaining their independence. If problems arise, she assists them to resolve them to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
The Ability Center is very proud of the success of this program. If you or someone you know wants to leave a nursing facility, please contact Don Smith at (419) 885-5733 (V/TTY) or email him.
Originally published in The Ability Center of Greater Toledo’s InTouch Newsletter.