The Center for Home Care Policy & Research of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York conducted a project designed to:
- Improve the accessibility of policy-relevant research and technical information to state and local decision-makers whose actions affect the availability of long-term-care services and the ways in which these services are organized and delivered.
- Improve dialogue and strengthen links between long-term-care researchers and policy-makers.
- Make research more policy relevant.
The methods used to achieve these objectives included identifying key issues in long-term care, commissioning papers on these topics, convening topic-focused meetings with the participation of researchers and decision-makers and producing special reports and policy briefs synthesizing the findings of these activities.
Staff at the Center for Home Care Policy & Research:
- With the input of an advisory committee and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff, selected two substantive long-term-care issues ("leveraging resources for home- and community-based services in a time of fiscal retrenchment" and "linking housing and long-term-care services for older adults") that could benefit from discussion informed by state-of-the-art knowledge and analysis.
- Convened researchers, technical experts, decision-makers and opinion leaders with diverse perspectives, experience and skills to examine these issues and the evidence available for addressing them at two meetings in 2003 and 2004.
- Commissioned papers to be used as background for these meetings and as the basis for stand-alone publications.
- Produced and disseminated two summary reports on the selected topics and issued a series of policy briefs synthesizing the findings of project activities.
- Linking Housing and Long-Term Services for Older Adults.
- Leveraging Resources for Home- and Community-Based Services in a Time of Fiscal Retrenchment. (Available online.)
Despite fiscal crises and budget cuts, some states continued to develop and expand home- and community-based service options in response to popular demand and the desire to reduce long-term-care costs.
Access to affordable, elder-friendly housing is a key predictor of whether older adults can remain in their own homes as they grow older.
"Service-enriched housing" provides alternatives to costly institutionalization, enables local service providers to deliver services more efficiently and benefits residents, who can retain their independence longer in settings of their choice.
From 2000 to 2002, the number of Medicaid beneficiaries receiving long-term-care services in group residential settings outside of nursing homes increased by 75 percent. States generally do not regulate the nomenclature used by residential care settings-for example, a term such as assisted living often is used indiscriminately to describe a range of housing and service types.