HARRISBURG - Ask Pennsylvania seniors about long-term care, and most will likely tell you they'd prefer an 'at home' setup, with help from unpaid family caregivers. A new report from AARP ranked Pennsylvania 42 out of 50 states in providing adequate long-term care for seniors.
The report, titled, 'Raising Expectations 2014,' evaluated long-term care, including affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, and quality of life. According to Ray Landis, advocacy director for AARP Pennsylvania, the state funnels more than $300 million from state lottery revenues to nursing home care, money that could be spent helping caregivers keep more seniors living independently.
"We are sophisticated enough in being able to bring care into the home through advances in technology," said Landis, "through advances in the ability of these home-care workers to provide the kind of care that people need to stay at home."
Landis said re-evaluating the foundations of long-term senior care, and focusing how it's delivered, sets up a win-win scenario of quality care at more affordable prices. "The more we can keep people in their homes and their communities," said Landis, "the longer they'll stay out of nursing homes, and the lower the costs will be to the commonwealth."
AARP Pennsylvania supports a proposal from Gov. Tom Corbett in the new state budget to increase lottery-funded nursing home alternatives by $21 million.