In a report released by the AARP last year, Ohio ranks 44th among all states when it comes to meeting the long-term healthcare needs of its elderly and disabled citizens. The report ranked the states on a variety of factors and showed where Ohio is lacking in terms of its long-term care as well as where it is making improvements.
AARP Study Results
The study looked at 26 different factors in five broad areas of long-term healthcare for each state that included affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of care and quality of life, support of family caregivers, and effective transitions from long-term care to home and community services. At its lowest, Ohio ranked 42nd in regards to its indicators for affordability and access to care, specifically looking at whether seniors in the state could get and afford the services that they needed without problems.
The state ranked 39th for its quality of care as well as in its support of family caregivers. However, Ohio only ranked 27th in helping its elderly and disabled citizens return to the community once they are finished with long-term care. Overall, the study had Minnesota in first place and Kentucky in last place for meeting its citizens’ long-term healthcare needs.
Signs of Progress
In addition to ranking the state’s current quality of healthcare, the report by the AARP also showed that Ohio is one of five states that had the highest rate of progress in its long-term healthcare. Overall, the state improved by over 25 percent from its results in the group’s 2011 report. Just last year, the federal government awarded Ohio $169 million to help keep senior citizens and disabled citizens in their homes, instead of placing them into expensive nursing home facilities.
Only 16 states received that type of funding last year through the Affordable Care Act’s Balancing Incentive Program, a program meant to get states to a point where they are using at least half of their long-term-care spending for home and community-based care by 2015. Ohio’s jump in improvement seems to indicate that the program is working.
Response from the Study
The director of the AARP in Ohio stated that he hoped that legislators and advocates in the state use the results of the report to figure out where they should be focusing their attention. He would also like to see more resources devoted to helping family members who are caring for elderly and disabled loved ones.
Even though Ohio has significant ground to make up because of its large population of elderly and disabled residents between 1997 and 2012, Ohio’s nursing home population decreased by 11 percent despite a 50 percent increase in the number of people over the age of 85. During the same period, the state also increased the number of seniors receiving home and community based services by 150 percent, while simultaneously holding the Medicaid long-term services budget relatively steady.
Contact an Ohio Elder Law Attorney
If you have questions regarding elder law in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, or Summit County, let the experienced Law Office of John C. Grundy help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.