More Funds Needed to Keep Elderly at Home
Health care services that are designed to keep elderly Nebraskans out of hospitals may soon take a beating, thanks to the lack of adequate government funding. This view was put forward by a group of advocates today on Tuesday.
The associate state director of AARP, Mr. Mark Intermill said that an increase of 5% in the care category and in the services for community based aging would be needed in order to secure a reduction in the waiting lists and maintain services. This would cost around $791012 in state funds.
A 1% increase has been recently announced by the governor. The appropriations committee of the legislature is thinking about a 2% increase. This would amount to $311775 for two budget years ending on June 30, 2011. However, some experts still feel that the funds need to be increased further. This is due to the increased demand for services in recent times. There is an increasing preference on the part of the elderly to stay at home and consider long term care as opposed to hospital care. However, the service has failed to keep up with the rise in demand and that has caused the yawning gaps in demand and the waiting list.
The states area agencies have provided services to the aged that have amounted to $10 million in savings on Medicaid. This was basically saved on account of the expenses the state might have accrued due to Medicaid spending on nursing home care during the financial year 2007-2008.
However these savings would be meaningless if the elderly are not provided adequate care at home. The agencies provide a lot of services like transportation, in home care and meals delivered at home. They also provide services of care management when needed.
The main thing that the elderly look forward to when they want o stay at home despite their age, is a chance to look forward to being productive in society and doing some work. As frequent and continuous hospitalization would not permit them to stay at work, they prefer to receive whatever medical help they need at home.
For these reasons, it is imperative that the states should increase the flow of funds, so that these people can be provided better care at home. This would also work for the states in the long run because they would be able to save on costs that would be incurred due to extended stays at a hospital which could have been avoided.
Provision of better health care services is not only a need; it is a necessity for the elderly. This cannot be secured without the provision of adequate funds. It is therefore absolutely necessary for the state governments to look into this matter and make revisions in fund allocations as needed.
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LTC Resources: Preventive Action against falls for Senior Citizens