When people are experiencing behavioral health challenges or symptoms that fall under the umbrella of dementia, they often do not require a level of medical care that would necessitate assisted living. But their behavioral health challenges can prevent them from being discharged from care in a timely fashion. As a result, patients may remain hospitalized unnecessarily for weeks that can quickly turn into months.
What these vulnerable adults really need is someone who will walk alongside them, arrange a dignified discharge from the hospital and help them stabilize their lives.
Enter the Catholic Charities Eastern Washington (CCEW) Stable Placement program (SP). In coordination with Providence health care, SP supports clients after their hospital stay and assists them with finding permanent housing in an adult family home (AFH) or an independent living situation.
Once the client has a home, SP continues to provide support through a wide range of essential wraparound services that are required to successfully transition adults in need from hospitals into safe living situations. Some of those services include:
- Supporting AFH providers,
- Facilitating training connections,
- Providing on-call availability for crisis management and
- Assisting with the implementation of behavioral health treatment plans.
In addition, SP staff will join clients’ care teams and work on care coordination by providing access to services and treatments that clients require. Our SP team treats clients with dignity and respect, collaboratively works with clients to assess their needs and connects them to services while ensuring they feel safe and comfortable with their care plans.
Each day brings different challenges for members of the SP team to navigate on behalf of clients, advocating for them in a variety of situations. SP responsibilities may include:
- Providing companionship and behavior support,
- Ensuring family contact,
- Connecting with payee,
- Meeting representatives and
- Coordinating with community partners.
Through this ongoing support, the SP program aims to achieve the goals of reducing hospital re-admittance, streamlining the referral and acceptance process between Providence’s medical facilities and the AFHs, and improving the social determinants of health for our clients.
The partnership of the CCEW Stable Placement program team and Providence health — through supportive assignments after hospital care and continued monitoring and assisting of clients — provides that needed someone who will walk with clients throughout their journey toward stability.
This spring, Kobie Mobbs, a Stable Placement social worker, reflected on the experience of saying goodbye to a client and standing in for his family at the client’s funeral. It was a powerful experience that demonstrated why the work of Catholic Charities Eastern Washington’s SP program is so important.
Recently I lost a client to natural causes. Due to his service in the U.S. Navy, he was eligible for military honors. Unfortunately, his family was unable to attend his funeral, at which they asked that I accept the flag in their honor. On Thursday, May 20, I attended his funeral and represented his family. Working with a Providence social worker, we provided a live stream of the funeral for his family members and recorded it. It was such an honor and privilege to accept this flag. It is a memory and an experience that I will never forget.
As I watched the servicemen and women precisely unfold, snap and refold the flag, I reflected on the people who had come before me during other ceremonies and thought about those who may be sitting in a similar designated chair to the one I was sitting in, at another location, preparing to accept the flag of a loved one. As the flag was placed into my hands, I could feel the fibers, textures, weight and what the flag signified. The rifle salute reverberated through the air, followed by a profound solemn silence signifying a life that once was, but no more. Taps played out a final salute to a personal journey on earth.
It was such an honor to be included in this ceremony, knowing my client is at peace and the family was able to watch from afar.