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In February of 2020, Joann was doing some routine grocery shopping when she collapsed. The fall resulted in a broken back, and required her to enter a rehabilitation facility before she could return to the home she shared with her daughter. Joann, unfortunately, was no stranger to the facility. She had been there many times before as a result of a wide array of health issues. Although she was used to the staff and enjoyed their support, the facility was not a place she wanted to stay long. 

The following month, COVID began running rampant and lockdowns were put in place. Those living in skilled nursing facilities were greatly affected and required to use extreme caution. Most people, including Joann, were not allowed to leave their rooms. She was already experiencing loneliness due to not having anyone at the rehab facility that she could connect with. Being of a very sound mind, Joann felt the only people she could have a real conversation with were staff. Over the next few months, her condition improved but COVID made it hard to leave. 

Thankfully, during this time, a social worker from the rehab facility introduced Joann and her family to the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. Because Joann was still very independent, she was a great candidate for the program. She was very excited at the idea of having her own apartment rather than living with her daughter. It was a piece of independence that she could not wait to have back. Even with many complications due to COVID, over the next year, Joann, her family, and the MFP team were able to find her a beautiful apartment. 

Finally, on Oct. 4th, 2021, Joann was discharged from the rehab facility and began the next chapter of her life. She immediately fell in love with her apartment. She met her PCA, Georgina, who would spend a few hours with her Monday through Friday to make sure all her needs were met. Her family and MFP team made sure she had everything she needed, including medical equipment like a shower chair. 

Joann loves her new sense of independence. Although she sometimes gets down about the things she can no longer do, she feels so grateful that the Money Follows the Person program was able to provide her with the most independence possible. She thinks back to her time in the facility, and explained what a joy it is to be able to decide when you want to get up, and when you want to go to bed. She can decorate her place how she pleases, and light a candle without needing permission. Joann can now enjoy the peace and quiet of her apartment with a good book, with no need to worry about the facility’s rules or time constraints.

Read the CT Money Follows the Person Quarterly Report

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UConn Health, Center on Aging

This success story was published as part of the “CT Money Follows the Person Quarterly Report,” researched and written by UConn Health, Center on Aging.

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