By Anne Llewellyn, MS, BHSA, RN, CCM, CRRN, CMGT-BC, BCPA, FCM

There's no place like home! Recently, as I worked with various clients, I was reminded that there are many different types of homes. The goal for anyone is to find a home that keeps you safe and meets your unique needs. This is especially true for someone who survives a catastrophic injury, illness, or birth defect.

In the late 80s–90s, when I was new to workers' compensation, I had many young people who suffered from severe brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations. My role was to case manage these patients until they were medically stable and discharged to their homes. They were only discharged if their families could care for them or find a place that could tend to their needs.

In those days we had various transitions of care facilities that were set in home-like settings where the person could adapt to their "new normal."

Most of my patients were covered under a worker’s compensation plan or had a settlement from a lawsuit to pay the cost of their care. Often, a Life Care Planner was involved who investigated the cost of care for a patient throughout their expected life span. The Life Care Plan helped the attorneys come to a settlement. The funds were put into a trust and managed by an executor to ensure they were used to care for the claimant for the rest of their lives. A case manager was usually part of the settlement to assist with medical management and to obtain important equipment at the most cost-effective price.

The case manager would work with the family to help meet the needs of the patient. Most of the catastrophic cases in case management were closed after the patient either came home with home care or was placed in a facility. I never knew the outcome with many of my patients after working with them, but I have often thought of them over the years.

I recently took over a patient from a retiring case management colleague. She has worked with one patient for over 25 years! The patient is a woman who was involved in an auto accident while working and suffered a brain injury, a spinal cord injury, and burns in 1985. She survived the accident and was cared for the last 30+ years at a home called Moody Manor. She has received excellent care and has had minimal setbacks. My colleague was involved in handling issues that arose and assisted the home with finding providers and keeping the claims adjustor and the family updated.

The patient resides at Moody Manor, a home created by Mrs. Patricia Moody, who built the house after her daughter survived a boating accident and was severely brain injured. She built the home in 1990. The facility serves as a home for survivors of traumatic brain injuries. To make sure the home would meet the client’s needs, my colleague worked with programs like Craig Rehab in Colorado to learn what a person with a severe brain injury would need to be cared for in terms of nursing care, therapy, and other resources for the rest of their lives.

The facility is a single-family home with eight bedrooms and is currently the home of 6 women, all survivors of a traumatic brain injury. They need 24/7 care to assist them with all their activities of daily living. The staff comprises of nurses, nurse aides, and physical and occupational therapists.

I have found that my patient and the others who live at the home are well cared for, as evidenced by the fact that none of them have any skin breakdown or have had to be hospitalized. They have a doctor who makes the patients a priority. The nurses on duty know the patients and alert the doctor if they run a fever or have any health issues.

Despite the sad circumstances for why these patients are there, I found Moody Manor to be a happy place, with a staff who love what they do and know each patient extremely well. They can tell if something is going wrong and have the doctor see them and treat them at home. Families can visit 24/7 and are kept up to date on their day-to-day activities by the Moody Manor staff.

As I take over the care management of my new patient, I am getting to know the routine at Moody Manor, the staff, and my patient. I realize that this is my patient’s home. She is safe, comfortable, and well cared for. This is what a home is… a sanctuary that is a safe place.

On my last visit to Moody Manor, I met my patient’s mother. When my patient saw her mother, she put on a big smile and gave her a BIG kiss. This interaction made me realize that although she cannot talk, she knows what is happening. When I spoke to the mother about the facility, she said this is my daughter's home, and it gives me peace of mind that she is well cared for and safe. This is HOME.

If you ever need a home for a patient with a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, or another disabling condition, consider Moody Manor; it is a unique home!

Have you had an experience like this? What resources did you find for your patients? Please put a comment in the chat so we can learn from each other.

Authors Note: I have permission to write this article from the patient’s mother and the Facility.

Connect with your fellow Case Managers at the 2023 CMSA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Save money by registering now for #CMSA2023! Take advantage of our early bird discounts and secure your spot before prices go up. Don't wait until the last minute, act now and save money while investing in YOU! Early Bird Registration closes Monday, May 1st:

Bio: Anne Llewellyn, MS, BHSA, RN, RN-BC, CCM, CRRN, BCPA, CMF is a healthcare leader with over 40 years of experience as a critical care nurse, case manager, professional patient advocate, educator, digital journalist, and cancer patient. Anne is a past president of CMSA. She was awarded the organizations LifeTime Achievement Award for her work in case management in 2015. She was inducted as a CM Fellow in the first class. Anne is the current president of the All Florida Case Management Network and serves on the editorial board of CMSA and the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy. Anne works as a nurse advocate in the South Florida area.