Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mass. ranks in bottom half of country for elder care, report finds

Massachusetts ranks 30th of all states when it comes to overall affordability, quality, and availability of services for residents who need long-term care in a nursing facility or in their own home, according to a new national study.
The analysis ranked Massachusetts as one of the most expensive states in the country for the one in seven seniors who are paying for nursing home care out of their own pockets. Only Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Alaska were rated more expensive, according to the report from the AARP Public Policy Institute and two other foundations. The study also found that programs and services for families who care for loved ones at home are significantly lacking. The report found that Massachusetts spends about 39 percent of its long-term care money on services that would allow elders and disabled residents to be cared for in their homes, while the highest-ranked states allocate about 60 percent of their funds on home- and community-based care.Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services, said that the network of state and community agencies and organizations designed to help elders avoid nursing homes is fragmented and needs better coordination. He said that nursing home administrators are worried about patients falling and being fined by state monitors for injuries from falls, prompting nursing homes to restrain patients too often.

Mass. ranks in bottom half of country for elder care, report finds - The Boston Globe

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