To The Editor:
Aging Baby Boomers, the need for affordable care options and the desire to remain in the comfort and security of home make home and community−based care programs a sensible investment. ("Tompkins report shows financial benefit of keeping elderly home and healthy," April 15, Ithaca Journal.)
The Tompkins County Health Planning Council's assessment adds to a growing number of studies concluding that investment in home care makes sense. A 2009 Health Affairs report showed that states that invested more in home care experienced a 15.3 percent decrease in nursing home spending, while states that invested less encountered 3.4 percent growth in nursing home expenses. The report stated that "home and community−based services programs may be one instance in which offering people greater choice also reduces cost."
Home care programs are a critical component of holding the line on health care spending while continuing to provide valuable care to people of all ages in need of supportive, medical and rehabilitative care. Greater investment in home care allows more seniors to age in place rather than being cared for in more costly nursing homes, hospitals, and emergency departments.
To learn more about the benefits of home care, go to www.homecareinfo.org.
Phyllis A. Wang
East Greenbush, N.Y.