They can know they will be provided the necessary services they need to make it possible for them to remain in their own homes instead of going into a nursing home. Governor Ted Srickland has called for an end to Ohio’s waiting list for Passport services.
Gwynn Stewart, Communications Director, for the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, Area Agency on Aging 8 (AAA8), the agency providing Passport services to seniors in Meigs, Athens, Hocking, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington Counties, confirmed that the waiting list for people who qualify for Passport is coming to an end.
According to Stewart, there are 592 Medicaid-eligible senior citizens on Ohio’s waiting list who now may be able to access long term services through Passport giving them the option of staying in their own home and getting the care they need. Stewart said the Buckeye AAA8 region expects to enroll “immediately” 15 residents currently on the waiting list.
“But, eliminating the waiting period does not diminish the need for legislation currently under consideration in the Ohio General Assembly called ‘Home First.’” said Stewart. “That legislation would extend Home First to older adults leaving hospitals or in abusive and self-neglect situations, as well as those who have depleted their assets in assisted living, or whose physicians have signed that they are at risk of nursing facility placement within 30 days.
“Older adults who need help have often been subjected to waiting lists,” said Stewart. ”They need alternatives when they would prefer to live at home with some assistance but nursing facility placement is their only option. Senate Bill 214 passed the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee by a unanimous vote of 11-0. House Bill 398 is being considered in the House Aging and Disability Services Committee. Both bills have widespread bipartisan support.”
Stewart said that AAA8 is “pleased the Governor is also supporting this Home First legislation and hope the Ohio General Assembly will enact Home First into law to keep older adults from unnecessary and expensive nursing home placement in the future. These steps help Ohio achieve a Unified Long Term Care System that will provide better care at lower cost for all our citizens who need long term care.”
For more information on PASSPORT services, call 1-800-331-2644 and if eligible, an in-home assessment will be scheduled