With a $42 million grant, the state's Bridge to Independence program will begin in 2012 to move some Mississippians out of nursing homes and intermediate care facilities and allow them to receive supportive services in their own homes instead. Administered by the state Medicaid program, this "money follows the person" project aims to help people leave institutional settings if they do not need extensive help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and taking medications.
AARP has long supported home- and community-based alternatives to nursing home care, and AARP surveys have found most people would prefer to age at home. To learn more, go to aarp.org/ms or call 1-866-554-5382 toll-free.
Walk This Way
As part of a collaborative effort to make Mound Bayou a more livable community, AARP is promoting active living and supporting plans for a local walking trail.
In October, AARP sponsored a livable communities workshop where area residents learned about street design, public safety and plans for the paved walking trail, as well as ways to make communities more walkable such as painting lines on streets for crosswalk safety. Promoting physical activity is critical in a state where, according to a report from the Trust for America's Health, more than a third of adults are obese.
Learn more about these efforts at aarp.org/ms or by calling 1-866-554-5382 toll-free.
Home Sweet Home
In a move advocated by AARP Mississippi, state lawmakers boosted funding for home- and community-based services by $16 million for the year ahead. The increase is expected to cut the waiting list in half for services such as home-delivered meals, transportation assistance and in-home care.
The state historically has spent a small percentage of its Medicaid long-term care dollars on services that help people continue to live at home as they age, with a larger percentage going to nursing home care. The proportion has shifted gradually in recent years, but the share for home- and community-based services remains below the national average.
Learn more at aarp.org/ms. To become a volunteer advocate on this issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-866-554-5382.
No Place Like Home
State legislators have allocated $16 million for home- and community-based services, the largest amount ever earmarked for such services in Mississippi and enough to cut the waiting list in half.
The victory followed on the heels of AARP's Your Dignity, Your Future, Your Choice effort, which provided a hotline for Mississippi members to urge lawmakers to support the funding. AARP will continue to press lawmakers to eliminate the rest of the waiting list, since thousands of people still need services such as home health care, home-delivered meals and transportation.
To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for home- and community-based services, go to Medicaid.ms.gov or call your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-948-3090.