The Alpha One Center for Independent Living in Portland, Maine, created the Home to the Community project to help people with disabilities leave nursing homes and reestablish their lives in the community.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program, Building Health Systems for People With Chronic Illnesses.
- As a result of services provided (chiefly skills instruction on finding accessible housing and transportation, using personal assistance services and acquiring assistive technology such as wheelchairs), 26 consumers moved out of nursing homes and returned to life in the community.
- An additional 24 participants who remained in nursing homes received services.
Key Evaluation Findings: The evaluation showed that:
- Participants who were able to return to their communities tended to be those who had less severe disabilities than most nursing home residents while in the nursing home.
- Quality-of-life indicators improved for people who left nursing homes and that public expenditures decreased.
Afterward: Alpha One continues to provide transitional services to consumers who want to leave nursing homes, broaden its outreach and disseminate results and findings to the field.