Our recuperative care program is a residential program for men and women struggling with homelessness who are discharged from the hospital but are still in need of post-treatment care. They may need time to recover from a trauma or assault, mange a chronic contition, stabilize on a new medication, prepare for a medical procedure, or recover from a serious viral or bacterial illness. With this time to recuperate comes a clean bed, three meals a day, showers, help following post-care instructions, prescription assistance, help with making follow-up appointments, and assistance with other needs.
We have recently expanded our recuperative care program and we now have 21 beds for homeless individuals who have a need for medical respite but have no place to go. We have strengthened our partnerships with area hospitals, including HCA/TriStar, St. Thomas, Vanderbilt Medical Center, and others.
Our staff works with hospitals and other healthcare providers to take referrals, and develop post-stay exit plans for our guests. Our goal is for each recuperative care guest to have an action plan in place by the end of their stay. Many guests who first came to us for recuperative care have been connected with the wide array of resources available through Room In The Inn and continued their journey to permanent housing.
More and more individuals are coming to our Guest House with medical conditions beyond public intoxication. They are walk-ins or they come from hospitals or other agencies needing recuperative care for all kinds of conditions.Among them:
- acute/chronic illnesses (bronchitis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, cirrhosis, diabetes, gastrointestinal bleeding, cancer, heart disease, ascitis, esophagitis)
- trauma/assault victims (gunshot wounds, stab wounds, orthopedic injuries, head injuries)
- post-surgical recovery or pre-surgical preparation
- skin conditions (wounds, ulcers, cellulites, exposure/frostbite)
Recuperative care has significance on two fronts: 1) the benefits to the individuals we serve who are still at medical risk and 2) to the hospitals that discharge them. This program offers a 24/7 bed, rest, meals, medical observation, and healthcare management at the minimum, as well as opportunities for additional ancillary services as appropriate (A&D assessment and referral, social case workers for housing and entitlement services). These basic essentials for anyone recovering from a medical problem that required hospitalization are, unfortunately, elusive to most homeless individuals.
More importantly, by providing recuperative care, we have an opportunity to live out or core values and offer hospitality and grace to the most vulnerable of our community.
“The homeless citizens of Nashville, as in any city, have always been confronted with the difficulty of finding assistance and shelter when recovering from acute medical conditions, and when impaired by neglected chronic physical and mental health problems. Even though there is access to primary health services at the Downtown Clinic and public hospitals, truly continuing and comprehensive care is rarely achieved; and, if hospitalized, such patients usually require aftercare, ordinarily provided in the home, a place they do not have. The result is all too often early readmission, and preventable complications.”
-Dr. Lewis Lefkowitz, Vanderbilt University Medical Center