A ten year retrospective look at Ohio's long-term care system
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Over the past ten years the state has experienced a continued shift in the way older Ohioans receive long-term care. More older people are receiving long-term care in their own homes and in assisted living facilities. Ohio's home care program for older people, PASSPORT, increased from serving 6,000 individuals in 1992 to 24,500 in 2001. The number of residential care beds, driven by the expansion of assisted living, grew from 8,700 in 1993 to 34,000 in 2001. At the same time, despite an increase of 50,000 Ohioans age 85 and older, the average number of nursing home residents served in the past ten years has dropped by almost 5,700 per day, and the number of Medicaid supported residents has dropped by more than 2,700 per day. These numbers indicate that Ohio has begun to change its approach to delivering long-term care. Although critics suggest that Ohio's expenditure ratio of nursing home to home care lags behind the majority of states, substantial changes have occurred in the system. As Ohio prepares for future population increases it will need to continue its efforts to provide a range of long-term care options for its citizens. Ohio simply cannot afford to expand the current long-term care system to meet the needs of our growing aging population.