450 Can Move From Indiana Nursing Homes
August 5, 2004
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA--Over the next eight years, 450 people with mental disabilities will be able to move out of Indiana nursing homes and into homes in the community, the South Bend Tribune reported Thursday.
The moves would happen under the proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit filed in 2000 by Logan Community Resources, Inc.
"This means lives full of more opportunities, more relationships, more community activities," said Dan Harshman, the agency's director. "Lives that are more meaningful and enjoyable for these people."
Many of those who would be allowed to move from the nursing homes do not require skilled nursing services. Some were moved to the nursing homes from state-run institutions when the state closed those facilities. Up to 90 percent are legally eligible for community placement, according to one study.
If the settlement is approved, people who are now in nursing homes, along with their family members or guardians, would have face-to-face meetings with state workers to go over the details of community alternatives.
"A form letter would not be enough," said Marilyn Florey, a Logan caseworker. "It takes one-on-one interviews, and opportunities to go out and look at what's available now so they know what life can be like."
"The state never argued with the basis of the suit," Florey said. "It's actually their official position.''
"Waivers to help disabled" (South Bend Tribune)
The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities