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Can Home-Delivered Meals Keep You Out of a Nursing Home?

Posted By Sally Abrahms On December 7, 2012 @ 11:32 am In Take Care | Comments Disabled

[1]A new study [2] out of Brown University [3] offers food for thought. It shows that one way to keep people out of nursing homes [4] - so they can age in place [5], at home – is for states to offer more home-delivered meals.

The report revealed that states that invest the most in home-based meals, like Meals On Wheels [6], have fewer nursing home admissions for “low-care” residents. Low-care means a person lives in a nursing home yet doesn’t require many of the services offered. In 2009, 12.6 percent of nursing home residents were classified as “low-care.” (The number in that category has dropped from 17.9 percent in 2000, thanks in part to government-funded home- and community-based programs.)

So, with help like meals, others may be able to avoid the expensive, long-term care route. And few people want to take that path. An AARP study [7] in 2010 found that 88 percent of Americans age 65+ would like to grow old at home.

Brown University researchers analyzed statistics from 2000-2009 that included 16,030 nursing homes nationwide, state spending on the Older Americans Act [8] (OAA) – the majority of OAA spending is on home-delivered meals – and public health and nursing home data compiled by Brown’s Shaping Long-Term Care in America [9] project.

In fiscal 2010, 868,000 people received these meals. The following statistic is a lot to digest, but shows the dramatic impact government-subsidized meal programs can have: for every $25 a year per person above the national average that states spend on home-delivered meals, they could shave their percentage of low-care residents compared to the national average by one percentage point.

Does your parent, neighbor, family friend get home-delivered meals? Do you think it is making a difference? Helping to keep them out of a nursing home? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo by Michael Seth courtesy of Creative Commons

Follow Sally Abrahms at www.sallyabrahms.com [10] and on Twitter [11].

Photo courtesy of MealsonWheels.org [12] via the Latrobe City Council.


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/12/07/sally-abrahms-university-study-nursing-homes/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/meals-on-wheels.jpg

[2] study: http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2012/12/meals

[3] Brown University: http://www.brown.edu

[4] nursing homes: http://assets.aarp.org/external_sites/caregiving/options/nursing_homes.html

[5] age in place: http://www.ageinplace.org

[6] Meals On Wheels: http://www.mowaa.org

[7] study: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/general/home-community-services-10.pdf

[8] Older Americans Act: http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/HCLTC/Nutrition_Services/index.aspx

[9] Shaping Long-Term Care in America: http://www.s4.brown.edu/GNH/index.html

[10] www.sallyabrahms.com: http://www.sallyabrahms.com

[11] Twitter: https://twitter.com/sallyabrahms

[12] MealsonWheels.org: http://www.MealsonWheels.org

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