Friday, January 27, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

HCBS Cuts Threaten Services for Aging Population in Missouri

Play

Monday, November 28, 2022   

November is National Family Caregivers Month, which focuses attention on the unpaid care work of family members.

The care provided by families often is enabled and supported by state-funded wrap-around services.

Over the last few decades, Missouri and other state governments around the nation have funded Home and Community Based Services - or HCBS - as a cheaper alternative to nursing-home care.

The turn towards HCBSs has meant that aging Americans are more often able to stay in their homes.

The kind of support they provide is broad, and includes visiting and live-in nursing care, in addition to other services such as transportation, home repair, and remodeling to ensure accessibility.

Recent state budget cuts to these programs threaten the availability of in-home care. Jay Hardenbrook, advocacy director with AARP Missouri, said funding HCBS sufficiently benefits all involved.

"It winds up saving the state a lot of money," said Hardenbrook. "It makes families stronger, especially if it's an unpaid family caregiver who's doing that, and it keeps that person receiving the services in the place that they want to be."

Hardenbrook said in Missouri alone, unpaid family caregivers are providing more than $8 billion worth of care. He called them an essential part of the system that doesn't get enough attention.

Funding for HCBSs in the state has declined over the last decade, with the nonprofit Missouri Budget Project reporting a 40% cut in community-based programs in 2018.

Last year the General Assembly injected $200 million from the American Rescue Plan into the system as a one-time payment to support care workers' wages.

Hardenbrook said the state needs to fully fund these programs.

"The state decides how much money goes into these programs," said Hardenbrook. "And if we let them stagnate for a long time as we did until last year, then fewer and fewer people will provide those services. Now that we've done this increase, if we can just keep it up, really we'll have a larger workforce and we'll have more people who are able to stay in their homes because they're able to get the services they need."

Hardenbrook said when aging seniors can't get the care services or home repairs they need, the state often ends up paying more for them to live in a nursing home.

He said while some people utilizing HCBS programs are doing so daily, others may only need occasional help.

"One of the things that has been very helpful, especially among our dementia enrollees, is that a family caregiver can get a day off," said Hardenbrook. "One day of respite is what we call it. But really, 'Can I just have a day where I don't have to be a caregiver all day long?' "

The Missouri Budget Project reports that on average HCBS support costs less than one third of institutional care.






get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

Since the 2020 election, GOP-led states have enacted 102 new election penalties, according to an analysis by States Newsroom and the Voting Rights Lab. (niyazz/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

Environment

New Mexico residents have two weeks to submit written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposal to implement stronger standar…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021