Trevea Wilcoxen and Robin Brown
Trevea Wilcoxen and her daughter, Robin Brown, spent 14 months in a nursing facility before being able to return home with the help of the Take Me Home, West Virginia program. Trevea described her nursing facility experience as “constraining and disheartening” and Robin felt confined. Mother and daughter wanted to return home in order to gain a sense of normalcy and independence. For Robin, that meant having her own room and being able to take a bath whenever she wanted.
Trevea and Robin heard about the Take Me Home, West Virginia program from the nursing facility social worker. The two soon were introduced to Leigh Ann Harmon, a Take Me Home, West Virginia Transition Navigator who helped them to identify an apartment, obtain funds in order to secure housing and purchase necessary household items, identify community activities and supports the two might be interested in participating in and worked to help the two identify their goals and work toward meeting them. The mother and daughter moved out of the nursing facility on Robin’s birthday, August 5, 2013.
Since returning to the community, the women have made friends and are enjoying participating in activities they could not do in the nursing home, like shopping. The two are happy to be living together and sharing household duties. Robin says, “Being home is the best thing in the world!”
Mae and Willis Goldizen
Mae Goldizen had spent 18 months in an Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home. Her Husband, Willis, believed the nursing home environment was not conducive for her physical and mental well-being. He stated that she often seemed isolated and unresponsive and was always cold. He felt that, with help, he could provide her more individualized care in the home they had shared for more than 50 years.
The nursing home social worker informed the Goldizens of the Take Me Home, West Virginia program and introduced them to Transition Navigator Debbie Royalty. Willis said that Debbie, who guided them through the transition process, did everything she could to help Mae return home. Take Me Home, West Virginia provided funds for necessary modifications of the couple’s home. In addition, the program provided a Personal Emergency Response System and various other items to help ensure safety in the home. Debbie also worked with the Goldizens, nursing home staff and community service providers to arrange needed in-home services.
Willis is thrilled to have his wife home with him, and Mae seems happy as well. The couple find themselves interacting more and Willis says his wife seems more jolly, alert and responsive. “She regularly pays attention to and provides participation in the conversation going on. She is comfortable, has her desk of work she can do and she is warm,” he said. Plus, he remarks, her ability to remember and recognize friends and family seems to have improved. “While in the nursing home, she knew me sometimes. Here she knows me most times.” He encourages anyone in a nursing home who wishes to return to their community to do so if at all possible and believes that the Take Me Home, West Virginia program was the only way he was able to bring his wife home.