Network Reaches Into Nursing Homes To Help Residents Gain Their
August 2, 2004
WHEATON, MARYLAND--Saturday's Washington Post featured an excellent story about efforts in Maryland to get people with disabilities out of nursing homes and into their own homes or apartments.
"We've gotten 145 out," said Ellen Archie, who belongs to a network of outreach workers that go into nursing homes to let residents know they might not have to live there.
"We don't have dementia, we don't have Alzheimer's. We have our minds," Archie tells them. "It's mind over matter."
According to state officials, about 1,725 people between age 18 and 59 live in Maryland's nursing homes under Medicaid.
Some of those getting out are taking advantage of Maryland's recently approved Money Follows the Individual Accountability Act, which provides waivers for nursing home residents to take their funding back into the community. Nursing homes can cost more than $60,000 a year, the article points out, while in-home services cost closer to $40,000.
"Getting a voucher and getting out of the nursing home is like hitting the lotto for $280 million," said Archie.
"It is magic. And it's good magic."
"In Maryland, Disabled but Not Confined" (Washington Post)