Negotiating health care options

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- If you or someone you know is having a hard time negotiating through the maze of health care options for an elderly parent, there's a new easy way to find what you need.

Approximately 30,000 Connecticut residents are long-term patients at nursing homes. It's estimated that number will increase another 10,000 in the next 10 years.

To ease that burden, the state is making it easier for you to find home health care alternatives because not everyone really needs to be in a nursing home, and most people would like to stay in their home anyway.

"When people enter a crisis situation, they don't know where to turn and often times because of that, they're not making an educated choice," said Stephen McPherson, Masonicare.

So Thursday the state launched an easy to use website that will help you connect to the kind of help you need, or help you may need for an elderly parent or other relative.

"We have a wide range of home and community based services that are now available in the state of Connecticut. We want people to know about the services so that they can make a choice," said Dawn Lambert, CT Dept. of Social Services.

At the same time, the state is making a big push with bill boards and radio ads, encouraging more young people to seek careers in the care giving fields.

"We should always be ever mindful that even as we create home and community based services there's still going to be a very strong demand and need for high quality skilled nursing facilities," said Matthew Barrett, CT Assoc. of Health Care Facilities.

Facilities like Bel-Air Manor in Newington, where only about half the beds are for long-term care. The rest are for short-term, rehab, another area of the care giving field that is expected to see tremendous growth.

For more information check out the new website.

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