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US recognises need for flexible care

7th August 2006

A new bill to give older people more choice over their long-term care has been passed in Massachusetts.

An Act Regarding Choice of Long Term Care Setting hopes to give senior citizens "a greater voice" in deciding what care is appropriate for their needs.

The bill will also have the advantage of reducing the cost of treatment for Medicaid, the US body that meets the fees of healthcare for the poorest.

"Long-term care is one of the most serious issues senior citizens and their families face," said State Senator Patricia Jehlen.

"This bill allows them to choose their setting of long-term care, including the option of staying at home."

State Representative Paul Casey said that the bill was both the compassionate and the "fiscally responsible" thing to do.

Home care is predicted to amount to approximately half of the cost of nursing home care, but only a limited number of slots for such care are currently available.