Health and Family Services Cabinet
Center simplifies access to information, services for elderly, disabled - Northern Kentucky site of first center, additional centers planned
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) today announced the opening of Kentucky’s first one-stop, long-term care information and assistance center for aging and adult mental retardation services.
CHFS and the Northern Kentucky Area Agency on Aging officially opened the first of 15 planned Aging and Disability Resource Centers where individuals, families and health and human services professionals can find information and access care and services for the elderly and people with disabilities.
“The goal of the ADRC program is to empower families and individuals by making it easier for them to find the information they need to make informed choices about long-term care and support services,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. He said the ADRC also will help state and local governments better manage limited resources and monitor program quality using centralized data collection and evaluation functions.
The first ADRC will serve Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties in Northern Kentucky. Once fully implemented, regional resource center programs will serve residents in all 120 counties. Area Agencies on Aging of the 15 Area Development Districts will provide local administrative support for their respective regional centers, including collaboration and communication with service providers to make sure information provided to consumers is always accurate and complete.
A dramatic nationwide demographic shift is projected within the next 25 years fueled by the baby boomer generation – the first of whom began turning 60 this year.
Kentucky currently ranks 27th nationally in the proportion of the state population older than 65. By 2025, Kentucky’s elder population ranking is expected to rise to 14th. In its proportion of residents 85 and older, Kentucky will move from 31st to 40th by 2025.
Current disability rates provide some indication of future demand for long-term care services.
In 2000, 59,000 Kentuckians 65 and older reported some type of disability that limits routine, daily activity - that's more than 12 percent of the total elder population and higher than the national average of 9.5 percent. That proportion of elders with disabilities is likely to grow – or at least be difficult to reduce – based on overall population health measures ranking Kentucky very high for levels of obesity, smoking, heart disease and the proportion of elders who don’t receive regular preventive health screenings and treatments, like mammograms, flu and pneumonia shots and colonoscopies.
With an $800,000 three-year grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Kentucky joins 43 other states providing centralized resources and information on a wide range of in-home and site-based aging and disabilities programs and services. The program is jointly administered by the Cabinet’s Division of Aging Services, Department for Mental Health and Mental Retardation and Department for Medicaid Services.
“This is an example of how state government can break down silos, examine issues and needs and develop solutions to help ensure that Kentucky has healthy people and strong communities now and in the future,” said CHFS Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell.
Individuals older than 18 and their families will be able to contact the resource center to inquire about programs and services in specific counties and other geographical areas, by type of service and by other data-sorting criteria. Contact the Northern Kentucky ADRC by calling (859) 692-2480 or toll-free (866) 766-ADRC (1732) or e-mail the ADRC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-in assistance is available at the Northern Kentucky ADD office, 22 Spiral Drive in Florence.
The center will also provide service counseling, referrals and private and public assistance eligibility screening, and will help clients with the application process for services they wish to receive. The resource center will serve another important function as a single point of entry to Medicaid and other public health and human service programs for older Kentuckians and people with disabilities.
“The launch of this model resource center represents a wonderful example of cooperation, creativity and goal-centered focus among many partners and providers,” Birdwhistell said. “We want to provide a rapid, customized and, most of all, genuinely helpful way for people to find out what’s needed, what’s available where and how to get the programs and services best suited for each client.”