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Survey Ranks Kentucky Last For State Spending On Long-term Care For Elderly

Greg Stotelmyer

Kentucky received low marks on a report card issued Thursday regarding state funding for long-term care services for seniors. In fact, the commonwealth ranked 51st, behind all 49 other states and the District of Columbia. The survey, conducted by three organizations including the AARP, measures the effects of state policy on the ability of older Americans to live independently. 

Cathy Allgood Murphy with AARP Kentucky says too much of the state’s money is spent in nursing homes rather than at-home and community-based services.

“The get all the money and it’s all for intuitional care, even though everyone says keeping them at home is cheaper and is a better quality of life,” said Murphy.

The state-by-state survey focused on key factors like choice-of-setting, quality-of-care and support provided to family caregivers. Murphy says most caregivers need just a small break from time-to-time to prevent burnout.
“It could be just as a little as somebody coming in and getting the person up in the morning so that the caregiver can get up and go to work,” said Murphy.  “Maybe they use a wheelchair and they can’t bathe themselves or dress themselves, but once they’re up they can take care of themselves during the day.”

The scorecard from AARP, Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN foundation measures effects of state policy on more than two-dozen performance indicators.

The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.
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