Monday, April 22, 2024

Boston Globe: "Massachusetts commits $1 billion to move thousands out of nursing homes in wake of lawsuit settlement"

"Nursing home residents should find it dramatically easier to return to their communities after Massachusetts committed to spending $1 billion over the next eight years for new housing and community support for people seeking to leave long-term care facilities.

The commitment was part of a settlement in a lawsuit filed in US District Court by the Massachusetts Senior Action Council and seven nursing home residents who wanted to return to their communities but could not find housing to accommodate them. The plaintiffs had physical or mental disabilities but could live outside a nursing home setting with some supports, said Steven Schwartz, a lawyer from the Center for Public Representation and one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs. He estimated that a majority of the state’s 21,000 Medicaid recipients receiving long-term care at nursing facilities would be eligible to leave for community settings.

“Our very value as individual citizens [comes] from a set of community activities, working, voting, going to school, going to a baseball game,” Schwartz said in an interview. “None of these things we think of as valued experiences in our life are available living in nursing homes.”

The settlement would apply to all nursing home residents on Medicaid, who make up the vast majority of those in long-term residential care, Schwartz said."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

A hallway at Blaire House nursing home in Tewksbury. JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF
A hallway at Blaire House nursing home in Tewksbury. JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

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