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Ohio ranked 44th on AARP older Americans scorecard

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A new scorecard released Thursday from AARP and other partners that measures effects of state policy on ability to live independently ranks Ohio 44th among the 50 states. "Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers," assembled with partners from the Commonwealth Fund and SCAN Foundation, notes that older Americans want to live independently at home as they age, says Ohio has much work to do to help them achieve that goal.

"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,” Jane Taylor, state director for AARP Ohio, said today. "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." Another seven measures are new for the 2014 report, a media release said.

Older Ohioans can live independent at home 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. The 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.

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

AARP Ohio says long-term supports are a diverse set of services designed to help older people and those with disabilities. The 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.