Many people with disabilities are living in institutions such as nursing homes or large intermediate care facilities but would prefer to live in a community setting, by themselves or with family or friends. If you would like to explore transitioning to the community, Open Doors may be able to help.
An Open Doors Transition Specialist will meet with you and your family to help you identify your needs and provide objective information about the community options available. For example, many people living in nursing homes will require accessible and affordable housing; the Transition Specialist will help identify available apartments, and can assist with securing home modifications that will make the apartment appropriate for your needs. Similarly you may need someone to assist you in personal care activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating; the Transition Specialist will refer you to personal care assistance programs. Because each person has his/her own set of needs, the Transition Specialist works with you to create a person centered plan. Once the plan is in place, the Transition Specialist will help you implement the plan that results in your moving to the community.
In addition to meeting with the Transition Specialist, Open Doors has trained peers who live in the community with supports, some of whom also transitioned. The Peer will visit you in the nursing home or intermediate care facility to share his or her personal experience and knowledge about resources that can help you live independently in the community. Peers work with you on gaining control of the choices you will have when you move, such as: whether you should move; with whom you want to live; how you will access to health care; will you work, and if so volunteer or paid; and other life choices that happen when you live in the community such as what to where, to eat, and with whom you want to socialize.
If you want more information on Open Doors, call ILCHV and speak to Debbie Abreu, Open Doors Program Director.