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Scorecard promotes policies that support independence

Ohio ranks 44 th compared to other states in report released Thursday, June 19: “ Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers.”

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“This report highlights where Ohio is making progress and where we should continue to secure improvements in serving individuals and families with long-term care needs,” says Jane Taylor, state director for AARP Ohio. “It is noteworthy that of the 26 measures, Ohio improved on 8 measures, remained the same on 10 measures and declined only on one measure.” The other 7 measures are new for the 2014 report.

Today, older Americans want to live independently, at home, as they age. In Ohio, they do so as a result of expansion and improvements in at-home care and with the support of more than 1.6 million family caregivers who provide the majority of daily care, on an unpaid basis. “Most important to Ohioans is the ability to live at home for as long as possible and this report shows Ohio has strengthened policies in support of that goal,” Taylor says.

Prepared jointly by AARP, the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation -- the nation’s leading organizations behind quality long-term care -- this comprehensive state-by-state assessment ranks each state overall and within 26 performance indicators along five key dimensions: choice of setting, care quality, and support for family caregivers.

Taylor notes the Scorecard findings can help Ohio identify areas for improvement today, and prepare for the future as the Baby Boom Generation begins to hit its 80s in just over a decade.

“It is essential that we study this report, and use it as a guide to drive all system improvements,” Taylor adds. “AARP will work with Ohio’s leaders to identify policies that allow us to improve quality and access to long-term care services. Ohio must address the growing needs of family caregivers.”

Long-term services and supports (also called long-term care) are a diverse set of services designed to help older people and those with disabilities; services can be provided in a person’s home, in a community setting such as an adult day center, or in a group residential facility like a nursing home. The full LTSS State Scorecard, along with an interactive map of state rankings and information, is available at www.longtermscorecard.org.

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