John Hopkins University in Maryland, started a new program to help seniors stay home longer is being tested. Maximizing Independence (MIND) at Home is a program that started in in 2006. It focuses on seniors with memory issues, and is still in the research phase. Seniors in the area are offered to program as part of the research.
New Program to Help Seniors Stay Home
MIND sets up families with a “memory care coordinator” who looks at their needs, gives educational info, and helps them find the right resources they need. MIND is a relief for many unpaid family caregivers who are overwhelmed with the task to care of their loved ones.
Currently there are 15 million unpaid caregivers who are in charge of the 5.4 million people with all forms of dementia. 80 percent of these people live at home or with family. Like many programs, MIND wants to keep seniors at home. Give them have a high quality of life and save families and Medicaid money. Medicaid covers nearly two-thirds of nursing home residents who have memory loss.
In a 2014 study, those in MIND for 18 months had a very large delay in leaving their homes compared to a control group. Leaving home could mean going to a nursing community, assisted living, or passing away.
When followed up, the MIND participants continued to see benefits. They stayed at home an average 948 days compared to the 660 days with the control group. The difference is nine and half months, that can save a lot of heartache and money.
The program really focuses on the senior’s need. They get a full assessment of needs to ensure a proper diagnosis. Along with making sure there are no problems with medication or behavior. The programs checks homes for safety hazards and an occupational therapist will come and suggest activities to do.
The care coordinator checks in every 30 days to see if the needs have changed and to be supporting of the caregivers. The program is estimated to cost $2,000 to $2,500 annually for each participant. This is less than being at a nursing home.
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