The Supportive Living Program has become a wonderful model on affordable assisted living. This is a program that is working in Illinois, and we should be focused on doing what we can to expand that for people with Alzheimer’s disease. We need to put the focus back on the purpose of helping people.
Bradley, Illinois (PRWEB) November 06, 2017
On behalf of the nearly 250,000 older adults in Illinois who have Alzheimer’s disease, Gardant Management Solutions – the operator of 42 of the state’s supportive living communities – joins the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC) and many of the association’s members in appealing to the Governor’s Office to change the process for reviewing applications to expand memory care options.
The Illinois Department of Health and Family Services announced plans last year to expand a successful dementia care pilot that currently includes five memory care communities across the state. Of the 80 memory care expansion applications that were submitted this spring, three out of four were denied.
Denial notifications were sent at the end of last month. The high denial rate raised concerns about what appears to be unclear application instructions, possible flaws in the screening process to evaluate applications and rejections based on clerical errors.
“The Illinois Supportive Living Program has become a wonderful model on affordable assisted living. This is a program that is working in Illinois, and we should be focused on doing what we can to expand that for people with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Gardant Chief Executive Officer Rod Burkett. “We need to put the focus back on the purpose of helping people instead of getting stuck in the bureaucratic process.”
Leaders in the supportive living industry are asking the Governor’s Office to make the application process fair, equitable and transparent with clearly outlined screening expectations.
HFS has adopted a new approach that excludes essential factors that would determine a project’s economic viability and is denying many strong applicants from being considered. HFS has indicated that denied expansions are not eligible for appeal.
With previous expansion projects, applicants have been given an opportunity to clarify, correct and submit additional information during an interview. The same process should be available for this expansion, assisted living leaders have said.
The memory care expansion comes at a critical time. Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementia is estimated to be nearly $259 billion this year and increase to $1.1 trillion by midcentury.
The need for memory care communities is growing every day, and the dementia care provided under the Illinois Supportive Living Program will help individuals and families who would not otherwise be able to afford care, Burkett said. The program saves the state and federal government because the cost for an individual on Medicaid in supportive living community is less than nursing home care and the environment is much more appropriate.
The Affordable Assisted Living Coalition is a not-for-profit membership organization made up of individuals and entities that develop or operate affordable assisted living projects and their business partners that have an interest or involvement in Illinois' Supportive Living Program.
Gardant Management Solutions is the largest provider of assisted living in Illinois. It operates more than 40 assisted living, senior living and memory care communities in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, the Metro East area of St. Louis, and other locations in northern, central and southern Illinois. The company also manages properties in Georgia, Indiana and Minnesota, ranking as the 12th largest provider of assisted living in the country.
For more information, visit http://www.gardant.com or call 877-882-1495.