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Imagine a homeless woman recently discharged from a hospital to an emergency shelter after having several toes amputated due to chronic diabetes. Forced to leave the shelter each morning and unable to return until 6 p.m., she wanders the streets all day with no place to rest, take medication or clean and dress her wounds. She struggles to find food, a bathroom or a place to sit. Exhausted and unable to manage her care, she seeks support once again in the emergency room.
When a homeless person needs critical care or surgery, hospitals take them in. The problem is, when they are well enough to go home, where does the hospital send them? Studies show that homeless individuals have higher hospital readmission rates, most occurring within the first two weeks after discharge. Unfortunately, then, the cycle begins again. Medical respite is a cost- effective and dignified approach to filling this gap in services by providing specialized care for recuperation and follow-up along with a safe place to recover. Local shelters can provide a safe place to sleep, but require the person to leave each morning. How will they keep their wound clean? Where will they find a place to rest when they need to? How will they maintain their medication schedule and set follow-up doctor's appointments?
The answer: A cost-effective program aimed at giving the homeless the medical care that they need.
- A safe, clean, 24-hour healing environment
- Discharge plan coordination
- Medication management and compliance
- Wound and post-surgery education and self-care management
- Coordination and transportation for medical appointments
- Coordination for behavioral health
- Nutritional support
- Utilization of prescribed home health services
- Case management
- Around-the-clock access to someone who cares
Hospital discharge nurses, doctors, social workers and case managers may refer patients
between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday by calling 313-556-5555.
- Age 18 or over
- Homeless or imminently homeless
- Needs recuperative services
- Does not require more than minimal assistance with activities of daily living (ADL?s)
- Free from communicable disease
- Is psychiatrically stable (i.e. not a danger to self or others)
- Does not require secured environment for dementia care
- Post-acute medical illness that requires short-term supportive care
- Ambulatory with or without an assistive device
- Willing to participate with program rules and self-care activities