In June, AARP released a state-by-state Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard.  This is a follow-up to the initial scorecard AARP release in 2011.  South Dakota’s ranking was slightly higher than the previous scorecard and does a good job of details our state’s strengths and challenges. 

Not surprisingly, South Dakota ranks very high in Quality of Life and Quality of Care.  Specifically, the percent of adults with disabilities in the community are satisfied or very satisfied with life.  South Dakota’s rate of employment for adults with disabilities is also very high.  Our state has always prided itself in taking care of others and these scores prove that committment yet again.

Unfortunately, we rank low in Affordability and Access which in part is a challenge because of our geographically big state with a small population.  However, as a state we can always look to improve the options available to our seniors in need.

The areas the Scorecard highlights for improvement are:   
     -More low/moderate income adults with ADL disabilities covered by Medicaid
     -More new users of Medicaid LTSS first receive services in the community
     -More nursing home residents with low care needs instead receive LTSS in the community
     -More people entering nursing homes able to return to the community within 100 days
     -More people who have been in a nursing home for 90 days or more able to move back into the community

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