Minnesota cracked the top ten and Wisconsin got honorable mention in ADAPT’s ranking of the 2008 Ten Best and Worst States in the delivery of home and community services to people with disabilities and older Americans.
The advocacy group recently announced the rankings in the Hall of States building in Washington, D.C. The building is home to the National Governors Association, an organization that has been very vocal in recent years about the preference of community services over nursing homes and other institutions. Yet the association hasn’t been able to inspire its own member states to improve their provision of those services.
Speakers representing states in both the best and worst categories spoke at the press conference about the horrors of nursing home life and the joys of living in the community in states that provide good community services. Randy Alexander from Tennessee ADAPT and LaTonya Reeves from Colorado ADAPT spoke of the disability“underground railroad” that assists people in states without community services to move to states where they can live quality lives in their own homes with the supports and services they need.
The grouping of states into the top and bottom 10 was based on publicly available data from highly respected researchers, supplemented by the results of an informal survey widely distributed across the country by ADAPT. Few surprises emerged in the survey. Many of the 10 states doing the poorest job of providing services that allow citizens to receive long term care in their own homes in the community have been on the “worst” list over and over. States are listed alphabetically, not ranked numerically:
Ten best states: Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont.
Honorable Mention: Kansas, New York, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Ten worst states: Arkansas, Georgia, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas.
Dishonorable mention: Alabama, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania