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Home sweet home.

For most older adults in long-term care, nursing homes are the last place they'll ever live, and many give up hope on ever returning to their homes.

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But Human Ecology researchers have evaluated Project Home, an innovative person-centered approach that shows great promise for nursing home residents to once again live in their oommunitips

"It's very common for nursing home residents to express their desire to return home," said study director Rhoda Meador, associate director of extension and outreach in Human Ecology. "The idea with Project Home is that, with extra support and focus on an individual's unique needs, those wishes can become possible."

The pilot program, based in Syracuse, N.Y., offered intensive case management to 60 residents at area nursing homes who wanted to move to community-based living arrangements. Project Home staff worked to overcome the usual medical, psychosocial, and logistical hurdles that typically keep people in nursing homes for the long term. Every detail of the transition--from finding adequate and affordable housing, to filling prescriptions and planning for medical needs, to keeping a refrigerator stocked--was accounted for. In the study, about 60 percent of participants were successfully discharged into the community.

"Project Home is part of a growing effort in long-term care settings to put the needs of individuals first," Meador said. "It shows what great success is possible when you become an advocate for people and take extra steps to get them back in the community."

Other Cornell collaborators on the study, funded in part by a grant from the Community Health Foundation of Western & Central New York, included Karl Pillemer, associate dean for extension and outreach; Charles Henderson, senior research associate in human development; graduate student Emily Kahoe Chen; and Leslie Schultz, research support specialist at the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging.

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Title Annotation:Project Home
Publication:Human Ecology
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2010
Words:301
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