Opening the door for people with disabilities and the elderly to be part of the community
"Money Follows the Person" program helps fund individuals who transition
from instititutions to community settings, while saving taxpayer dollars
New living experiences in community settings have brought greater opportunities and increased satisfaction for many North Carolina residents, people who had been in institutions or large group homes.
The trigger for these transitions has been North Carolina’s “Money Follows the Person” demonstration project, which brought life changing events for many people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, as well as elderly individuals who had to live in nursing homes and other facilities despite their capabilities.
Still relatively new, the “North Carolina Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project,” or MFP, has already made it possible for more than 170 individuals with long term support needs to shift out of institutions into family settings or small scale residences in the community. Contrary to what one might expect, early Medicaid data shows that, on average, the expenses of MFP participants are lower in their communities that they were in the facilities.
“She is so much happier now,” said Patti Kennealy, the mother of 33-year-old Christina Ralston, who is unable to speak, roll over, or raise her arms much above table level. Kennealy says she could not get a smile from her daughter when she would visit her in the institutional group home, but now “she smiles, she laughs and she sings. She’s home and she can decide what she wants to do.”