More funding will now be available for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) throughout the country to support older Americans and people with disabilities stay independent and receive long-term services. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that $12.5 million will be made available to states to distribute to ADRCs. The centers make it easier for state and local governments to manage resources and monitor program quality through coordinated data collection and evaluation efforts.
These grants, funded by the Affordable Care Act and the Older Americans Act, support counselors who help individuals and their caregivers identify and access long-term services and support, regardless of income or financial assets. One goal of the Affordable Care Act is to strengthen communities by helping those in need of care to transition out of institutions should they prefer to live in their own communities.
This news comes at the exact same time that many Americans are feeling the economic stress of not being able to save for any long term care they or their elder family members may need in the near future. The SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released results from a recent survey that shows nearly half of California voters, aged 40 and older, will need long-term care for a close family member within the next five years. Yet, many are unable to afford the cost of even a month's stay at a nursing home, where the average cost is $6,800.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressed how this new funding directly addresses the health and economic concerns that many Americans are feeling: "Whether someone is in the hospital and ready to be discharged, or living at home but needing additional care, an options counselor can help them evaluate their needs and sift through the options available in their community to create a plan that meets their needs."
Currently, all 50 states and four territories are operating, or are in the process of establishing, ADRCs.