Aging in Place Model Programs Save $

by Louis on August 9, 2010

You will rarely catch me appearing facile with numbers. Just not my cup of tea. A recent article in The Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune caught my eye, though, because the numbers they claim are pretty clear.

The article, Helping Seniors Stay at Home, focuses on Minnesota’s Living at Home Network, a recently re-organized statewide network of local programs encouraged to run their own unique programming. Though the network understands the difficult path to the long term goals of keeping more or most Minnesotans out of long term care facilities it is not wringing its hands about what cannot be done. This network is using the resources they can, including herculean efforts engaging volunteers,  to do the best they can. They are getting some measurable and reportable results. They are achieving  the desired result. They are helping seniors stay home. “The need [for long-term care] is growing,” said Dale Gandrud, a member of the board of Steele County Healthy Seniors in southern Minnesota. “Funding is going down. This is a way to multiply the dollars we have.”

The numbers that attracted my attention are: 1222 seniors served saving $20,000,000 (mostly taxpayer) dollars.That works out to $16,600/client savings. This is substantial bucks. Compared to the data from the 2009 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living and Adult Day Services and Home Care Costs* showing Minnesota nursing home costs averaging 58K/year the savings are astronomical. How do they achieve it?

I am sure some of the elements are

  • using self owned real estate
  • clients/families or other programs/volunteer keep properties up and  cover maintenance and utility expenses
  • volunteers
  • family caregivers
  • family covering some expenses that are budget items in a nursing home (food, cleaning supplies, some care incidentals
  • the general efficiencies of families over large fiscal operations
  • the general principle that people are healthier when happier in their own home

Community conceived and managed programs like these are the models we look to for planning and envisioning the future of Aging in Place.

* In the interests of full disclosure I have referred to MetLife Mature Marketing Institute twice lately. I am familiar with their materials because I have been collaborating with them on a soon to be published report.

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