End the Wait for Home and Community Based Services. In Georgia more than 12,000 people are waiting for services that allow them to stay at home rather than move to a nursing home. These services such as home delivered meals, home modifications, and personal care assistance are a fraction of the cost of nursing homes. Help us End the Wait by taking action this legislative session to fund Home and Community Based Services. Scroll down for more stories on how these programs help older Georgians and their families.
Mrs. House: "I am so grateful" for the services.
In Rome, Georgia, Mrs. House called the Northwest Georgia Area Agency on Aging Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) seeking help with respite care. She has always been very active and involved with the community, but found herself “homebound” by the care of her rather introverted husband who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As his disease progressed, he was unable to be left alone for any length of time. Mrs. House was growing very despondent due to the social isolation she felt. “I was losing my identity, nobody knew me.” She wanted a break to give her the opportunity to get out of the house with friends again.
The Area Agency on Aging was able to provide assistance. Mr. House started going to Mercy Care Rome for Adult Day Care. Mrs. House is surprised to see how engaged and active Mr. House is when he is at Mercy. “Mercy Care did more than keep an eye on him; they also changed his whole attitude for the better.” She also states that since he has started there, he has even become more active at home. Mrs. House reported, “The greatest benefit of the program is that I am now able to be active and engaged with the community again. Without assistance of program dollars, I would continue to feel isolated and somewhat depressed and I know Carlton would have continued to deteriorate. We owe our lives to organizations such as Mercy Care Rome. I am so very grateful for the assistance!”
State funding is not keeping up with the staggering growth in the number of older Georgians. Georgia has the 11th fastest growing 60 plus population in the United States. Of that population, over 345,000 live alone. Georgia is still spending more to keep the elderly in nursing homes instead of at home. In-home care costs a fraction of nursing home costs. Unfortunately, over 12,000 people are currently on waiting lists for in-home care to keep them out of nursing homes.
In 2016 over 428 people could no longer wait and had to go into nursing homes. Annually a nursing home resident on Medicaid costs an average of $64,013: Georgia pays $20,510 toward this cost. Using these calculations, 315 residents cost the state over $8 million dollars. If they had gotten services at home, the state would have paid millions less! Aging advocates will be telling this story to legislators all over the state in preparation for the legislative session in 2018.
You can join CO-AGE today to help us ask the Georgia Legislature for an additional $10 million to continue to help families like the House's. By joining CO-AGE you will be plugged into a large diverse coalition, you will receive action alerts during the legislative session, and will be able to share your voice with others working to end the waiting list for services here in Georgia. Visit our CO-AGE membership page today.
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Contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center for your area by calling 1-866-552-4464 (Select Option 2).