Maine has a program to help seniors and adults with disabilities to move out of nursing homes back into the community. Homeward Bound is a demonstration project funded by the federal Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS).
Participation in Homeward Bound is voluntary and individuals are given their choice of available community housing options. In order to qualify for Homeward Bound services, the participant must move to a home that is owned or leased by themself or a family member, an apartment, or a residence in a community with no more than four unrelated people.
To qualify for Homeward Bound, individuals must be 18 or older at the time of transition and have lived in a nursing facility and/or hospital for at least 90 days (not including any short term rehabilitative stay). Homeward Bound services will be paid by Medicaid funds.
People who enroll in Homeward Bound are eligible to receive an individualized package of services and supports including working with a transition coordinator to identify their needs, develop a transition plan and provide intensive help with moving back into the community. Additional services may include specialized clinical assessments, independent living assistance, household start-up, enhanced care coordination, assistive technology (AT) devices and services, planning consultation and peer supports.
The first stage of the enrollment process includes three assessments: self, family/friend, and readiness. During the transition planning process the individual and team use the information collected from the assessments to determine eligibility for Homeward Bound, set goals and develop a solid plan to move into the community. The next phase of Homeward Bound involves carefully planning for moving day, and making sure all of the pieces are in place for a successful transition home. The Transition team assists the individual with enrolling in programs (if needed or desired), arranging and scheduling services and supports and setting up their new household.
Once home, a community coordinator helps to monitor the plan to ensure that the services in place are meeting the needs and adjusts the plan if needed.
Through the Homeward Bound program services will be provided to make sure the transition has been a success. The community coordinator will also help to make sure that, when the Homeward Bound program ends after 365 days in the community, necessary services are in place.
For more information about the Homeward Bound program visit the Maine Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Aging and Disability Services website or make a referral to Homeward Bound by contacting Frances Ryan at 207-287-9233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about this program and to learn about how senior or disabled citizens can live independently with the use of AT view our webinar from March 27, 2013 entitled “Assistive Technology to Support Living Independently” featuring Ketra Crosson OTR from Alpha One.