Posted By:Paige MadorShare This Post
Imagine being told you’ll be leaving the home you’ve known to go live in a new house, in a new town, with people you’ve never met – and you might only have a few days to get used to this idea before your big move. That’s a pretty shocking adjustment! Now imagine that your memory isn’t what it used to be, or you have an intellectual disability that would make this transition more difficult to process. This is the experience of many adults with disabilities in our community. Although transition plans are put in place and people are counseled about the upcoming change, it’s a huge adjustment for just about anyone.
Recently, Venture welcomed a new resident into one of the agency’s 44 group homes and we wanted to highlight the hard work it takes by many people to welcome a program’s newest housemate. Mr. R. had been living with a shared living provider, but his changing medical conditions now require him to live in a group home setting. First, the house manager, program director, and nurse went to meet Mr. R. at the rehabilitation center he was staying at. He was a little confused, and thought he would be going home with them that day. They assured him that he’d be moving into his new home very soon.
For two weeks, different staff members from the program went to visit him at the rehab facility daily to get to know him before his big move. The nursing department worked diligently with staff members, facilitating trainings necessary for the arrival of a new resident and teaching staff how to prepare his medications. Residential staff members met with Mr. R’s guardian and previous shared living provider, giving them a tour of his new home, answering questions, and calming concerns and fears. Staff also became an impromptu moving company! They brought a van to Mr. R’s previous home and loaded up all of his belongings. Upon their return, it was all hands on deck at the program, with the help of the Facilities Department, to unload the van and begin setting up and decorating Mr. R’s room so it would be ready for his arrival. When the program director realized Mr. R. could use a bookshelf and dresser, the Facilities Department also located these items along with a matching night stand, and delivered them just in time. The Quality Assurance department dropped everything to make sure an audit was completed and a safety plan was in place. With the help of the Nursing Department, residential staff members were trained on how to handle Mr. R’s complex medical needs and prepared medications and equipment. The next day, the house manager and nurse picked up Mr. R. and brought him to the program. Later that day, when the program director visited to see how he was settling in, she walked in to find his sitting in his room unpacking his CDs. He looked up, smiled, and said, “Home!” And that’s what it’s all about.