Happily on their own

Nursing homes can provide 24-hour medical care for those who need it, but advocates said the increased quality of life and financial savings that can accompany living at home are often an advantage. Several local nonprofit groups are helping by providing in-home medical care, prepared meals, cleaning services and other resources.

In addition, Franklin County residents have voted every five years since 1992 to fund a property-tax levy, which generated $26 million for senior services in 2010. The PASSPORT program, which is funded through state and federal governments, also arranges home care for seniors on Medicaid in each county.

“There are more options now,” said Steve Mould, spokesman for the Ohio Health Care Association, a trade organization for nursing homes.

He said Ohio’s moratorium on new nursing home beds, which began with Medicaid
budget cuts in 1996, also has led many nursing homes to offer short-term rehabilitative care that allows people to live at home longterm.

Despite the drop-off, Mould said, “We know there is still going to be a need for
skilled nursing.”

The shift away from nursing homes also is visible statewide.

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