Staying at Home with a Nursing Home Alternative
For the 20th consecutive year, Visiting Nurse Health System was awarded The Atlanta Regional Commission’s contract for the Community Care Services Program (CCSP). Facilitated by the Long-Term Care at Home program of Visiting Nurse, this Medicaid waiver program helps seniors and individuals with disabilities receive community-based social, health and support services.
Dorothy Davis, Executive Director of Long-Term Care at Home and Vice President of Community Services and Strategy, shared an overview of the program and how it improves the lives of those it serves.
What is the Long-Term Care at Home program?
Our Long-Term Care at Home program is made up of a few different programs, offering a variety of resources and support depending on the needs of the participants.
How is the program funded?
Our programs are funded thanks to the Older Americans Act that helps seniors age in place. Two of our programs are nursing home Medicaid waiver programs designed to keep people at home with the same level of services as a nursing home. We also provide fee-based case management, as well as care for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Is there support and education for the caregiver as well as the patient?
We can help ease the burden of those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia by providing respite care in the home, allowing caregivers time to run errands or simply take a break.
What geography do you cover?
Our program covers the area mirroring the Atlanta Regional Commission footprint, which goes north and south from Cherokee to Fayette counties, and east and west from Douglas to Gwinnett counties.
Where do most of the recipients of the care reside?
Most participants are at home or the place they call home.
How does this program improve the lives of those it serves?
Long-Term Care at Home allows our clients to remain at home—instead of being placed in a nursing home—an average of four years longer than they would without this resource. In 2016, surveys showed 94% of clients in the program had a positive overall experience.
How do you find clients or do they find you? Can anyone in the community call your office?
People seeking assistance can visit Atlanta Regional Commission’s website for community information or call us directly at (404) 222-2417.
What do you see as the future of this program as healthcare continues to change? What do you think will be the greatest need in the next three to five years?
I think the greatest need will be the growing population of aging and shrinking resources. We can help ease that burden on our community.
What can the community do to help support the program?
Advocate for funding and work with Visiting Nurse as a trusted resource for aging information and support, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay for services.
Anything more you would like to add?
Being a caregiver is one of the more difficult jobs most of us will encounter. You want to work with an organization like Visiting Nurse that understands how critical the role of caregivers is to quality of life and quality of care.