When an individual experiences a broken hip, major surgery or another medical event that requires a stay at a nursing facility, being able to return to his or her home and community is often of paramount importance. The individual’s reduced capacity can raise a sense of hopelessness or even resignation in both the individual and his or her loved ones.
The Return to Community initiative helps provide a happy ending to this potentially heartbreaking story. By connecting older adults and their families to free information and assistance, Community Living Specialists can help make the transition home safe and easy. They help find home and community-based services such as:
- Transportation for running errands, going to appointments and staying connected to family and friends.
- Grocery delivery and meal preparation.
- Dressing, bathing and managing medications.
- Household chores such as snow shoveling and housekeeping.
- Home modifications
- Support for caregivers
The Minnesota Area Agencies on Aging offer Return to Community services through the Senior LinkAge Line® (call 1-800-333-2433). The initiative is targeted to nursing home residents who express a desire to return to the community and/or have a support person to assist with their transition from the nursing home to the community. The evidence-based initiative reflects the findings in research conducted under contract to DHS by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research. The research report includes a review of the Minimum Data Set data and a literature review supporting a model for developing a community discharge profile.