October 2, 2003
State Receives Federal Grant to Develop New Aging and Disability Resource Centers
Augusta – The Maine Department of Human Services, Bureau of Elder and Adult Services announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging to develop aging and disability resource centers. DHS will receive approximately $767,000 as part of a broader effort to integrate Maine’s resources of long-term care for elder and disabled adults into a single coordinated system.
Acting DHS Commissioner Peter Walsh noted that the award is significant because it will help consumers learn more about the many long-term care options available to them. “In every survey we have done, elders and adults with disabilities in Maine have consistently told us that they want as much information as possible about the different choices out there,” Commissioner Walsh stated. “This federal grant will improve our ability to show individuals and their families all of their options, from in-home services to community living to nursing homes.”
The grant will fund The Maine Resource Network Project, a statewide public and private partnership whose goal is to improve information about and access to long-term care services. Specifically, the project will work with community coalitions to test methods that connect consumers with available resources. This includes efforts on how to use local resources to assist individuals who do not qualify for publicly funded programs.
In addition, The Maine Resource Network Project will be exploring ways to improve individualized service planning, especially for adults whose long-term support needs do not fit neatly into current program criteria. These efforts will be particularly beneficial to elder adults who have mental health and addiction disorders and adults of all ages with brain injury, developmental disabilities, and cognitive impairments.
Christine Gianopoulos, Director of the Bureau of Elder and Adult Services within DHS, noted that the grant award will also be used to design ways to improve service coordination for individuals who use long-term supports and services. “This grant is an opportunity to put in to practice the goals of the upcoming merger of the Departments of Human Services and Behavioral and Developmental Services,” Gianopoulos noted. In particular, she anticipates better use of benefits such as counseling, family caregiver programs, housing and employment assistance, long-term care insurance, and other services which promote mental and physical well being. “We want to provide a central point of contact that will make these services easier for people to use,” she added, “and this grant will help us in that effort.”
Maine was among twelve states that received three-year grants totaling approximately $9.3 million. Anyone interested in obtaining more information about elder and adult programs can call DHS toll free at (800) 262-2232. Information is also available on line at www.state.me.us/dhs/beas.