More D.C. seniors are aging-in-place

AGING | The District is at the forefront of a national trend away from placing seniors in nursing homes. The D.C. Office on Aging’s Nursing Home Transition Program, which began last year, allows older adults to receive both medical and nonmedical services in their own homes. This is driven by consumer preference, as well as significant cost savings (WaPo, 1/3):

One impetus for change was a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that public entities must provide community-based services to people with disabilities whenever possible.

Another reason for the change in thinking is the high cost of institutional care. As the population of older Americans grows, advocates say, it won’t be economically sustainable to have so many live in nursing homes. The average annual cost per person for nursing home care is about $75,000 nationwide. In the District, it is $110,000. Providing in-home services costs an estimated $30,000 to $60,000 a year, according to the city’s Office on Aging.

Related: As more older adults receive services in their own homes, the direct care workforce is rapidly growing. Last year, WRAG published an edition of What Funders Need to Know about the challenges facing this critical workforce. (WRAG, June 2013)

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY | Prince George’s County officials are crediting a decline in crime rates in some areas to the Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative. The program targets county services in six low-income neighborhoods with particularly high crime and foreclosure rates and low levels of educational attainment. (WaPo, 1/3)

Related: Back in September, WRAG co-hosted a summit on Prince George’s County to learn about the changes underway in the county and to begin discussions about how the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors can work together to continue strengthening the county. (Daily WRAG, 9/26)

Online Gifts Rose 16% During Holiday Season (Chronicle, 1/2)

Redefining Philanthropy: How African-Americans Give Back (NPR, 12/30)

MENTAL HEALTH | Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has established a task force to look at ways to improve the state’s mental health system. (WTOP, 1/3)

LEGAL AID | A new report looks at ways to use technology to increase access to legal services for low income people. (WTOP, 1/3)

DISTRICT | While D.C.’s budget autonomy referendum, which passed last April, went into effect on January 1, it could still be found to lack legal standing and be overturned soon. (WAMU, 1/2)

This is what it looks like to “step into the void” above the French Alps. Probably not for the faint of heart.

– Rebekah