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States aim to encourage capable nursing home residents to live on their own as they become well

Washington State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are amongst the states making efforts to transfer people out of nursing homes when they become capable of living on their own. For example, in Washington, nobody is in a state nursing home for more than seven days before a case manager speaks to the resident to discuss options and discharge planning.

The story of a Philadelphia man, who with the help of a social worker referred by the Pennsylvania long term care ombudsmen program was successfully placed in an affordable and handicapped friendly efficiency apartment, illustrates the success of these programs. Even those who don’t have family members to care for them can be successfully discharged and placed.

Not only do these types of programs present autonomy and individuality for the elderly, but they also provide the state with a cost-cutting opportunity. It costs Pennsylvania under Medicaid $144 a day for a nursing home bed compared with caring for someone at home at a cost of $56 a day.

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