There's a new "house" on the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare campus in O'Hara, with all the things any living quarters should have -- living room, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, laundry, pantry and garage. Nobody actually lives there, but every day veterans go there to practice navigating daily life following surgery, a stroke or a fall.
It's called MyHome, and it's the first of its kind in the national VA system. Physical and occupational therapists work with the veterans on everyday tasks they used to take for granted, including cooking, laundry, washing dishes, making the bed, getting in and out of a car, putting away groceries and taking a shower. There's even a staircase for practice going up and down.
The 1,200-square-foot structure is in a former ceramic studio inside the Community Living Center, a rehabilitation facility and nursing home on the VA's H.J. Heinz campus. It was built as part of a $250,000 renovation program, said Shelley Nulph, VA spokeswoman. MyHome officially opened on Feb. 20 and has been busy ever since. It's also used by the blind rehabilitation staff and an aphasia program.
The aim is not only to prevent readmissions, Ms. Nulph said. "We really want to help veterans feel more confident in doing daily tasks and more ready to go home."