How does your state rate providing care to seniors and people with disabilities?

By Amanda WalkerConsumer Reports

The quality and accessibility of long-term care services depends in large part on where you live, according to a new report by AARP, The Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation.

The report rated services that assist older people, adults with disabilities, and their family caregivers on nearly two dozen measures, including private long-term care insurance coverage, access to Medicaid’s home-based care programs, and the cost and quality of nursing homes and home care.

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It divided those measures into five categories: Affordability and access to care; the variety of settings and providers of care; the quality of life and quality of care; the support available for family caregivers; and effective transitions out of nursing homes (for example, how successful each state was in moving people receiving care in nursing homes back into their communities).

Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, and Wisconsin ranked the highest across all five measures. The lowest rated states were Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Indiana.

The report notes that despite national campaigns to encourage people to purchase private long-term care insurance to help pay for some services, very few people do, usually citing its high cost. Only 10 percent of Americans aged 50 and older have these policies. We can help you decide if a long-term care insurance policy is right for you.

To help you stay healthy, read our five keys to a long life. And we have smart ways you can update your home so you can live in it as you age. If choosing an assisted living facility is on the horizon for you or a loved one, we can help you find good, affordable care.

––Mandy Walker

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