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New Bipartisan Report Says Nation Ill-prepared for Expanding Senior Population, Highlights Vermont Housing/Health Model

Posted May 25, 2016

Support And Services at Home (SASH) Model Called a “Success Story”

A report released Monday, May 23rd by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) says the U.S. is on the verge of a “major expansion of its senior population.” The report holds that most older adults want to age independently in their homes and communities, yet most homes and communities can’t safely and affordably accommodate this desire. Recommendations include increasing the availability of service-enriched housing (like Vermont’s Support and Services at Home model) to improve health outcomes in seniors while cutting the growth in Medicare expenditures.

Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, DC-based think tank seeking policy solutions from both parties, formed a Senior Health and Housing Task Force to evaluate the linkage between health care and housing. The resulting report, Healthy Aging Begins at Home, points to integration of healthcare and housing systems as a proven route to better management of chronic diseases, improved health outcomes, and a reduced financial burden on our health care system.

Healthy Aging Begins at Home recognizes Support and Services at Home (SASH), a Vermont model launched by Cathedral Square, as a successful way to coordinate community resources (healthcare providers, Area Agencies on Aging, mental health providers, and nonprofit housing organizations) in support of seniors who choose to age in their home. “Initial data demonstrate positive impacts on resident health, health care utilization, and a slowing of the growth of Medicare expenditures relative to two control groups.”

“This BPC report holds broad implications for the nation as seniors become a greater percentage of our overall population, “said Kim Fitzgerald, Cathedral Square CEO. “SASH is an important solution to challenges faced by our healthcare and housing systems.”

The full report is available at http://cdn.bipartisanpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/BPC-Healthy-Aging.pdf

For a link to the full press release, including contact information, click here.

For more news on the SASH program, click here to view a recent piece by VPR – “Vermont’s Innovative Elder Care Program, SASH, Cited As A National Model”