Over 40 people from Montrose, Delta, and Gunnison Counties came together to spend day learning about the Colorado Choice Transitions (CCT) Program. This program offers Medicaid residents of nursing homes the opportunity to explore moving back to the community.

The day’s activities began with an opportunity to “try on a disability”. Willing participants were assigned a disability and given items to wear that partially replicated what that disability might feel like. The feedback was no surprise: Anything that changes your ability to do the things you want and need to do create discomfort. Those who participated in the experience said it was powerful.

The day was designed to help long term care providers better understand the program and the many benefits it offers the residents who really want to leave the nursing home. Housing, home care, and other support organizations were also invited to join the Regional Transitions Committee to help move the program forward. One of the barriers to these discharges is the lack region-wide affordable and accessible housing. The Montrose County Housing Authority attended and learned about some of the difficulties faced by low-income disabled and older adults.

Eva Veitch Community Living Services Director for Region 10 helped with the conference and was pleased with the turnout and the level of enthusiasm for Colorado Choice Transitions. Horizons Care Center and Paonia Care Center were given awards for their dedication to supporting resident choice. Each facility had a good contingency of staff at the conference to learn about the program. Montrose and Delta County Single Entry Point and Adult Protective Services also brought many of their key staff.

“We understand how difficult it is to pull staff away from their normal work for this kind of training,” states Veitch. “And we wanted to acknowledge this commitment to learning more about how to best serve the residents.”

Special guests were Jennifer Shook, a disability rights advocate, and Sharleigh Revis, a young lady who successfully transitioned back to the community over a year ago. Both ladies were truly inspirational, their stories are powerful reminders that we should never give up on our dreams.

The next meeting of the Regional Transitions Committee will be held at Region 10 at 11 Feb 9th. For more information about Colorado Choice Transitions contact Eva Veitch at (970) 249-2436 x 207.

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