Elderbridge Agency On Aging Announces Plans To Expand A Pilot Program

Fri 11-29-2019

(Spirit Lake)-- Elderbridge Agency on Aging is expanding a program designed to help people age in their own homes. CEO Shelly Sindt tells KUOO news the “Iowa Return To Community” Program is a collaborative effort...Sindt01 

"What we're trying to do is help folks who have health needs, are 60 or older, and tend to have hospitalizations on a regular basis or are hospitalized and go to a nursing home with on skilled care that sometimes their return home is not always smooth, and so this program provides that wrap around services so that they can successfully return home and have all their needs met. So we might provide them transportation, we might provide them meals for a period of time. We don't do the healthcare piece, we do the social piece of that return to community. So our goal is to help people stay home or return home after a medical crisis and be successful and have a good outcome."

Sindt says the program is also intended to help out Medicare and Medicaid, as well as healthcare providers, by reducing the rate of re-admissions and improving health outcomes for the consumer...Sindt02 

"Several years ago Medicare kind of made a decision and health insurance that people should have have to return to the hospital within 30 days of a discharge for the same condition. And if they do, that hospital can be penalized for their reimbursement. So we want to partner with those hospitals or those nursing homes to make sure that folks don't have to return to the hospital for the same medical condition which is a benefit to the hospital as well as the individual."

Sindt says they've been offering the program as a pilot project the past year or so in Clay county, and will be expanding it thanks to some grant funding Elderbridge has received...Sindt03 

"In Clay county we wrote into the grant that we would serve a 50 mile radius if we were able to get additional funding. The initial grant was $100,000. We have been able to get a couple additional $50,000 grants so the total budget will be $200,000 so we will be expanding the Return To Community Program to Dickinson county and also we're looking at going to Palo Alto county with that."

Sindt says a consumer is active in the program until support and services are no longer needed or after 90 days.

More information is available by contacting Elderbridge Agency on Aging at 800-243-0678.