Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Money Follows the Person and OOIE: Perfect Together

The OOIE has recently joined an effort by the State of New Jersey to move people from nursing homes back into the community. Through the federally-funded Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, the state receives extra money from the federal government if they move people who are living in nursing homes or in state developmental centers into an appropriate community placement. The OOIE has been asked to help spread the word that some seniors living in nursing homes may be eligible to move into the community with the proper supports.

In New Jersey, the Money Follows the Person program is a joint partnership between the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Aging and Community Services (DACS). The DDD is focusing primarily on moving people with developmental disabilities from state institutions and DACs and the OOIE are focusing on moving people from nursing homes into homes in the community.

"The trend nationally and here in New Jersey, is to move people from the most restrictive to the least restrictive environment," said Ombudsman James W. McCracken. "The Ombudsman's office is guided, as always, by consumer choice. If someone wishes to leave a nursing home and live in the community, it is essential that they have the services and supports they need to make that successful transition. Our role is to make sure that as many people as possible know that these services and supports are available."

In order to assist in this effort, the OOIE is seeking funds from the federal government to hire staff dedicated solely to educating residents, their families, health care professionals and the public at large about the MFP program.

In the meantime, OOIE volunteer advocates have been briefed on the benefits of MFP and have been provided with flyers from the MFP program. During meetings this spring with the DACS Money Follows the Person nurses, OOIE volunteers were asked to be on the look-out for nursing home residents who have expressed a desire to move back into the community.

"We know that returning home is not a realistic possibility for every single person receiving care in a nursing home. So we do try to manage expectations," said McCracken. "But we also know that there are many people who will benefit from this program but who probably don't know, or whose families are not aware, that living at home with the proper plan of support is a highly viable option."

OOIE volunteers have already made about a dozen referrals to DACS MFP staff, said McCracken.


  1. This is a very informative article, thanks for sharing! I have been searching for some of the best New Jersey Senior Care centers and I need to know that I am completely satisfied with the one I choose. This is a great initiative and I hope it will continue to grow.

  2. Just wanted to also add that if you're looking for the best home care and assisted living services, I would definitely recommend Home Instead Senior Care. With offices nationwide Home Instead has excellent in-home assisted living services available regardless of the location of you and/or your loved one.