Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Latins Traditionally Prefer to take Care of Their Own

"Latinos traditionally prefer to care for their older loved ones at home", says Conchy Bretos, a Miami-based housing consultant.

But that's a challenge for low-income families who can't afford extra help for a frail elder. Because Medicaid pays only for nursing home care, not for every day assistance at home, many seniors in public housing are forced out of their homes prematurely.

"Most people need just a little help with dressing, meal preparation, bathing, and supervislon,"Bretos says." They don't need full-time doctors and nurses."

Bretos, formerly Florida's secretary for Aging and Adult Services, came up with an innovative idea: Get exemptions from Medicaid to bring assisted-living services to public housing.

Now 40 public housing projects in 18 states help people like Luisa Montoto Quinones, 95, who can get three meals a day, housekeeping, a nurse round the clock—plus bingo and arts and crafts.

In 2006 Bretos's Eldercare Solution won her the $100.000 Purpose Prize, awarded by Civic Ventures, a San Francisco Think Tank, to social entre-preneurs age 60-plus.

For more information, contact the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-7116 or go to ElderCare.Gov

by Elizabeth Pope an article on AARP Segunda Juventud

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