Report: How to Make "Aging in Place" a Reality

Nov 12, 2013, 08:30 ET from Nonprofit Finance Fund

Nonprofit Finance Fund Investigates Emerging Eldercare Solutions That Allow Seniors Remain in Their Homes as They Age

NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has issued a report revealing the economic, social and human considerations of "aging in place," or eldercare that allows seniors to remain at home. Supported aging-in-place care reduces costly emergency and residential care – major contributors to soaring Medicare and Medicaid spending. Based on in-depth work with a network of eldercare-related service providers in Hawaii, NFF's report identifies universal barriers to aging-in-place as well as solutions that promise to deliver cost savings while improving the lives of seniors.

"Americans want to age in their homes, and providing seniors with the health, safety and community resources to make that happen could ultimately reduce healthcare costs by the order of billions of dollars," said David Greco, vice president of Nonprofit Finance Fund. "The aging Baby Boomer population in the United States is forcing the issue: we must invest in better approaches to long-term care."

As the state with the highest life expectancy and second-highest cost of living, Hawaii serves as an early example of trends developing across the United States.  The Hawaii Community Foundation engaged NFF to provide systems-level analysis and in-depth strategic financial consulting to nine organizations that offer aging-in-place programs such as home companionship, transportation, and in-home cleaning services. These services can preserve quality-of-life for seniors as they age, and cost far less than emergency services or extended nursing home care. The cohort identified four core challenges:

1. Current funding structures leave large portions of the senior population underserved.
2. An information gap means that seniors and their families are often uninformed about available services.
3. Respite for caregivers is difficult to find, leading many to seek premature residential or institutional options for their family members when stress becomes unbearable.
4. Isolation of seniors from their communities makes it difficult to access services.

The report details the implications of these challenges and explores solutions for improving aging-in-place programs, and paying for these programs. In some cases, pilot programs are already making strides on the issues such as preventative care, more robust transportation and respite compensation. 

"Given the substantial size of our aging population and a limited number of nursing home beds, Hawaii's seniors will age in place with most of their care being provided by friends and family," said Pi'ikea Miller, Director of Programs at the Hawaii Community Foundation.  "The amount of care that will be required has significant implications for our local community – families, government, businesses and nonprofits.  We asked NFF to help us examine this complex issue as part of our efforts to determine how the Foundation can best support seniors to successfully age in place."

About Nonprofit Finance Fund

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) unlocks the potential of mission-driven organizations through tailored investments, strategic advice and transformative ideas. Founded in 1980, NFF helps organizations connect money to mission effectively, and supports innovations such as growth capital campaigns, cross-sector economic recovery initiatives and impact investing. A leading community development financial institution with over $80 million in assets, NFF has provided over $250 million in loans and access to additional financing via grants, tax credits and capital in support of over $1.4 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide. NFF is headquartered in New York City and serves clients from offices across the country.

SOURCE Nonprofit Finance Fund