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Is It Time to Fund Alternatives to Nursing Homes?

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Over the weekend, the I-News Network released an investigative report indicating that one of every five residents doesn’t want to be in a nursing home. That ratio jumps to one in four in Larimer County, notes the Fort Collins Coloradoan. In all, an estimated 3,500 nursing-home residents (including 360 in Denver) would rather live independently. Yet, state taxpayers spend more than $1 billion each year on long-term care for the needy, although many could likely live on their own for a lower cost with the proper assistance.

Still, the network’s investigation—which has run in several newspapers, including The Denver Post—also cites a shortage of places for people to live outside of a nursing home. “There’s definitely a shortage of housing, in terms of low-income housing and the availability of vouchers for people with disabilities,” says Tim Cortez, who was hired by the state to reform long-term care in order to serve more people and save money.


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