LIMA — Board of Developmental Disabilities around the state must continue to accept anyone from a nursing home who qualifies for services.
The Allen County board learned from Superintendent Esther Baldridge on Monday that it will not be able to create a policy regarding nursing home patients like it had thought.
“At this point we have to continue to serve anyone that is eligible,” said Baldridge, adding that it would take a state legislative move to change anything.
The Allen County board serves between 15 and 20 people in nursing homes. The problem, Baldridge said, is while patients may be eligible for DD services, many don’t want to be at Marimor and are not benefiting from being there.
“The vast majority are basically coming in for day care,” she said. “There is a very clear difference, in our view, if we have been serving somebody for the last 40 years and their last year or two in life are in a nursing home. We have no qualms at all about continuing to serve them.”
More people are being referred to Marimor from nursing homes than in the past, including more people who have no previous relationship with the agency. The board transports patients to Marimor. Baldridge said the transportation cost is what hurts the local board.
“Nursing homes are paid to take care of people 24/7 and if a person also comes here during the day, then we would have them say seven hours a day, but there is no funding source for the care of those people other than local tax levy money,” she said.
The state had started encouraging local boards not to serve all nursing home patients who qualify, so the Allen County board had planned to write a policy to stipulate who could come. Baldridge said there were discussions about possibly sending staff to work with people in nursing homes.
The state board of DD has since said that existing state law says all must be served.