Keeping the elderly in their homes as long as possible not only make them happier, it also makes good economic sense. Providing home health care providers and meal delivery is significantly cheaper than housing a person in a nursing home.
Home services can be provided to the elderly for about $12,000 per year compared with the $45,000 to $60,000 it frequently costs to house someone in a nursing home. The home care cost savings for each state are impressive. Tennessee is an example how states are re-evaluating their distribution of Medicare funding and putting more money toward community-based services that allow elderly people to remain independent longer.
In Tennessee 98 percent of the the state’s $1.2 billion Medicaid budget for long-term care was spent on nursing home care. In contrast, Oregon spends just 45% of its $622 million Medicaid budget on nursing home care. The majority of Oregon’s long-term care budget goes to community programs for the elderly that allow them to live at home longer.
The current nursing home system is reliant upon the elderly population transitioning into nursing homes from their communities. As the people of Tennessee learned, until the nursing home become more accepting of a new system of community-based elder care the system will remain ‘as is.’
Read more about cost effective alternatives to nursing homes here.