If you were a person with a disability, would you want to stay in your community – doing the things you have always done – with supports like personal care, special technology or home modifications and mobility equipment? Or would you prefer to move into an institution that satisfies all your care needs and makes all your decisions?
When you get old, do you want to stay in your own home with someone to help with things you can no longer do for yourself? Or do you want to move into a nursing home, share a room with a stranger, and let someone else decide when and what you will eat, when you will sleep, and if you can go outside.
Arkansans who have a disability and/or elderly and their families face these questions every day. Today these important decisions may be out of their hands. But tomorrow could be a different story.
A program exists, if the state adopts it, which would allow Arkansans to live at home in their own communities. This important program is called the Community First Choice Option (CFCO).
The CFCO gives states extra money to provide care for people currently on a waiting list for services to remain in their own homes. At present, Arkansas has a waiting list of about 2,800 people with disabilities who have been denied home and community-based services, some for as much as 8 years. CFCO will end Arkansas’ waiting list forever.
What will CFCO cost the State?
The answer is ‘nothing.’ As a matter of fact, the State projects a savings of $365 million over the next 12 years.
What’s in it for the federal government?
Since the cost of home and community-based care is less than the cost of nursing home or institutional care, the federal government will save money every time an Arkansan exercises the choice to receive care at home or in the community.