Miami's Scripps Gerontology Center reports more disabled adults allowed to return homeAug 12, 2011
A Scripps Gerontology Center
report released Aug. 10 shows adults with disabilities who are bound
for nursing homes or who already live in them can be assisted to remain
at home or to return there after a nursing home stay.
Nearly 4,000 Ohioans participated in an initiative to help individuals with severe disabilities reside in the community.
Between March 2010 and May 2011, 2,244 individuals were identified for diversion from Ohio nursing homes to receive services in the community and 1,555 individuals received assistance in making a transition from living in a nursing home to residing in the community. Those who were assisted in transitioning to the community had lived in a nursing home for three months or longer.
The Nursing Home Diversion and Transition Initiative, requested by the General Assembly in the 2010-2011 budget, was implemented by the Ohio Department of Aging in conjunction with the 13 agencies across the state that operate Ohio’s PASSPORT program.
To assess the effectiveness of the program, researchers at Scripps gathered information from consumers six months after they had entered the program. Four in five diversion consumers and 75 percent of those transitioning from nursing homes who were still alive at the six-month follow-up were still residing in the community.
In a number of instances, individuals who participated in the transition program had actually been nursing home residents for three or four years and had been able to return to the community as part of this initiative. Almost nine in 10 of the transitioned consumers were enrolled in PASSPORT or the Assisted Living Waiver Program. These programs allow Medicaid funds earmarked for nursing home care to be used to support home and community services under special circumstances.
The report, authored by Scripps researchers Robert Applebaum, professor of sociology and gerontology; Anthony Bardo, graduate associate; Suzanne Kunkel, director of Scripps and professor of sociology and gerontology; and Elizabeth Carpio, graduate assistant – and funded by the Ohio Department of Aging – notes that Ohioans use nursing homes at a higher rate than the nation overall. It also recommends the diversion and transition efforts be continued.
The full report is available online.