Aging – In
Your Home or a Nursing Home?
Steuben Senior Services Fund, Inc (SSSF) has found that most seniors
want to stay in their homes for as long as they can – to age in place – and
How would you feel if you or a loved one had to move into a nursing home
when, chances are, you could manage quite well at home if you had help with
things like bathing and personal care, meal preparation, and assistance in
managing chronic diseases and medications.
What would it be like to have to leave your home?
What would you miss the most? It might be a beloved pet, watching the birds
from your living room easy chair, chatting with your neighbor of 20 years
across the back fence, or maybe doing your Elvis imitations whenever the
mood strikes you.
This is the reality for a growing number of seniors, because government
funding is targeted to institutional care, and insufficient funds are
available to support delivery of in-home services. Medicare in particular
does not pay for home care except on a very limited basis when an individual
needs special care after a hospital stay. The result is that many elderly
individuals have no choice but to move into adult homes and nursing homes,
when aging in place is quite often possible. SSSF is working to change that.
The financial impact of the failure to adequately fund in-home services is
staggering. The average cost of typical basic in-home services in Steuben
County is less than $7,000/per year per person, as opposed to about $20,000
in an adult home and over $100,000/year in a nursing facility!
A snapshot of services coordinated through the
Steuben County Office for Aging
indicates that 27% of those individuals currently receiving in-home services
would have to move into nursing homes or adult homes were these services not
available. This difference could potentially save more than $3 million each
year if monies were available to provide support to seniors in their homes
rather than in a facility. SSSF is working to make this possible.