News Release

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Miami University
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Grant to Enable Consumer Choice in Senior Home Services

12/02/1997

OXFORD, Ohio -- Researchers at Miami University's Scripps

Gerontology Center have received a nearly $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood

Johnson Foundation to integrate more consumer choice and control into PASSPORT,

Ohio's Medicaid home and community-based services program for older adults.

They will work in conjunction with the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging

(COAAA) and the Ohio Department of Aging.

The three-year grant is one of 13 given through the Independent Choices

program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Council on the

Aging.

A goal of Miami's project is to allow low-income seniors receiving

community-based long-term care to choose their level of responsibility for

planning and managing their own services, including personal care, homemaker

services and transportation.

Researchers also will test the impact of consumer direction on consumer

satisfaction and functioning and on the agency.

Scripps researchers will work with COAAA staff within an eight-county area

in central Ohio where about 1,200 people currently receive PASSPORT

services.

PASSPORT clients, families and case managers will receive training about

consumer-direction and about their duties with their chosen level of

responsibility.

"Consumer choice in home care for older adults acknowledges the importance

of autonomy throughout life, and reinforces the message that older people, like

younger people, can be competent decision-makers," said Dr. Suzanne Kunkel,

principal investigator and associate director of the Scripps Gerontology

Center.

For information on the Miami project, contact Suzanne Kunkel at

513-529-2914. For more on the Independent Choices program, contact Kathleen

Cameron at 202-479-6604.

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