Indiana gets $21 million over 5 years
for senior alternatives
January 26, 2007
-- The state has received a $21 million federal grant to be used over
the next five years to pay for home health care, assisted living and
other services needed by senior citizens moving out of nursing homes,
the state's human services chief said Friday.
The Family and Social Services Administration received the funds from
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to mark the success of a
Division of Aging program called Options that was created to offer
seniors alternatives to traditional nursing, Secretary Mitch Roob said.
Alternatives such as home health care, assisted living, adult foster
care, and adult day services allows seniors to maintain some
independence in their living while having access to services they may
or community-based care model is the future, and although nursing homes
will always be appropriate for some seniors, we are finding that more
and more seniors enjoy the independence of community-based care,'' Roob
said in a prepared statement.
Roob announced the grant Friday during the dedication of a new adult day
services center in Indianapolis.
FSSA announced last June that it was implementing a law passed in 2003
that required it to make home- and community-based long-term care for
elderly and disabled Hoosiers as accessible as nursing-home care. Late
Gov. Frank O'Bannon signed the law, but FSSA did not implement it during
his administration or that of his successor, former Gov. Joe Kernan,
because of the high upfront costs.
Historically, Medicaid financial eligibility criteria had favored
traditional nursing home care over alternative services until the state
created uniform financial eligibility criteria that applied to
alternative services, too.
The grant should give seniors and Hoosiers of all ages with disabilities
a better chance to get home health care and community-based care, said
John Cardwell, the director of the Generations Project, which advocates
on long-term care issues.
He said it will help families and the state's economy by allowing people
to decide whether to stay in their homes and communities or go to a
nursing home or other care facility.
''They're going to pick what's best for them and that allows the dollars
to be more cost effective. And when you use these kinds of dollars in a
cost-effective way, you're able to serve more people,'' Cardwell said.