The changing personality of the new generation of seniors is driving a new aging preference: to remain at home with supports and services available.
“[T]he young disabled and baby boomers are looking at their options, what people want has become more of a driver in how our long-term care system is going to look,” Alayna Waldrum, executive director of LeadingAge DC, explained in a Washington Post article.
To address that desire, the District of Columbia’s Office on Aging launched its Nursing Home Transition program in April, to help Medicaid-eligible seniors receive Medicaid-funded services at home, according to an article in the newspaper. Even if an individual is not Medicaid-eligible, the Office on Aging will assist him or her in finding other funding sources.
The office also helps locate help for nonmedical purposes, such as transportation and meals. This service is open to District of Columbia residents aged 60 and older, regardless of income as indicated by the federal Older Americans Act.
The program’s goal is to enable residents to transition from nursing homes back into their own homes with the necessary services available to ensure safety and quality of life. Providing in-home care to seniors and those with disabilities is a growing national trend.
To enable this shift, the Affordable Care Act increases funding to states that make these in-home services available, thereby keeping some seniors out of nursing homes. At this time, 17 states have received approval for additional funding.