ALTOONA - A new report finds that Pennsylvania does a poor job of providing long term care for older and disabled residents. The AARP measured several factors including how affordable and accessible long term care is, and how much choice residents have about the type of help they receive.
Blair Senior Services and other Area Agencies on Aging in Pennsylvania provide meals, activities and programs for older residents. They also help seniors who'd quality for nursing home admission to instead apply for a Medicaid waiver to receive care in their home.
The program has a waiting list across the state. Blair Senior Services President Steve Williamson says that's because it gets signficantly less funding than nursing homes, but that balance is starting to be addressed.
Williamson says, "it's a win, win. People will be served where they want to be served and it can be done for substantially less dollars."
According to Williamson, the past two state budgets have included significantly more funding for in-home services. He says the current spending plan includes an extra $20 million specifically for that purpose.
He says however, re-balancing the funding can't be done quickly without harming nursing home facilities. He believes the change will improve long-term care in Pennsylvania.