Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Focus on I Choose Home- NJ

Nikiah King, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator

The I Choose Home NJ (ICHNJ) program, a federal program that moves willing and eligible seniors and disabled individuals out of institutions and back into home-based settings, is in full swing at the Ombudsman's Office. We have been tasked with promoting the program throughout the state, visiting every nursing home to identify possible participants, and spreading the message far and wide that "A Nursing Home (or Developmental Center) May Not Be the Only Option."

Since Spring 2013, our Outreach and Advocacy Team has identified approximately 130 individuals in nursing homes who want to move out, educated dozens of nursing facility social workers about a resident’s right to receive counseling about ALL of their possible living choices, and made appropriate referrals to the Department of Human Services to transition residents home under ICHNJ. So far, more than a dozen of these individuals have moved out under I Choose Home NJ, many others are awaiting transition, and still others who were not eligible have moved to more desirable settings and/or received counseling to explore all of their living choices.

As of December 2013, the ICHNJ Program has moved more than 900 individuals out of developmental centers and nursing homes and has saved the State more than $5 million (since 2008). By 2020, the ICHNJ Team will have transitioned more than 2,200 people and saved New Jersey taxpayers more than $35 million!

Please visit our website at www.IChooseHome.NJ.Gov to learn more about this program. And please reach out to us at 1-855-466-3005 if you know someone living in a nursing home or developmental center who has been living there 90+ days, is/will be eligible for Medicaid, would prefer to return to the community.
ICHNJ Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator for the southern region, Lea Hernandez, appeared on WEMG 1310 am’s “Camden en Marcha/Camden on the Move” radio show on Sunday, September 15. Lea spoke to Spanish speaking listeners in the Camden area about the Ombudsman’s Program, and the benefits of I Choose Home NJ and home- and community-based services.

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