eldBOONE COUNTY – RAMP is a non-profit, non-residential Center for Independent Living (CIL) with a mission to promote an accessible society that allows and expects full participation by individuals with disabilities.

There are approximately 559,200 elderly and individuals with disabilities in Illinois who rely on Medicaid for their long-term care stays. For those who no longer need a long-term care facility, they may face some challenges such as lack of affordable housing, accessible housing or lack of support systems. This is where RAMP can help.

RAMP’s role

At no cost to the individual, we serve with the purpose of increasing his or her ability to become a productive, contributing, self-directing member of society.

In keeping with our mission, RAMP offers the Community Reintegration and Money Follows the Person Programs as a cooperative project with the Illinois Department of Human Services.  Through this project, nursing home residents are given the opportunity to return to their community through the Home Services Program. RAMP will determine if you or your loved one is qualified, provide service coordination and planning, continued support and even some assistance with one-time reintegration related purchases.

Improved quality of life

When an individual is residing in an institution, their full potential will never unfold and their ability to fully participate in all aspects of life is impossible.

Only when individuals are living in their communities are they able to give back via employment, voting, shopping, home ownership, and all other responsibilities, duties, and privileges that an integrated life entails.

Candidate qualifications

RAMP will meet with you or your loved one to establish eligibility for the program. An appropriate candidate for this program is someone with a physical disability “typically” under the age of 59, currently residing in a nursing home interested in returning to the community.

Other persons eligible are individuals over age 59 diagnosed with HIV/AIDS or that have a brain injury. Income requirements are that your assets do not exceed $17,500, or that your family’s assets do not exceed $35,000 (car and home are excluded).

Service coordination and planning

Once eligibility has been established, a Transition Coordinator will meet with you to formulate an Independent Living Plan. The Coordinator will assist in identifying and securing community services, and resources, such as housing, personal assistants, assistance with one-time purchases and continued independent living support.

RAMP may provide financial assistance with one-time purchases required for a smooth transition from an institution to a community setting. RAMP staff will provide continued independent living support.  Services include (not limited to): peer support, independent living skills training, information and referral, bus training, personal assistant services, assistance with advocacy.

Success story

A 59-year-old female consumer was residing in a nursing home for the past three and a half years due to a complex medical history. She was not receiving your typical nursing home services; she was making her own doctors’ appointments, hair appointments, bible study and other various activities outside of the facility, arranging her own transportation to these events as well. The consumer was independent in almost all of her ADL’s while at the nursing home which included dressing, feeding herself and performing her own tracheotomy care.

The consumer was not aware of the services and supports available to her and so she never thought she could live independently in the community. The consumer has been living in the community since October 2014 with the supports of the program and is living a higher quality of life. She is thankful every day that she is able to live in her own home, control her own schedule and be empowered to be her own advocate.

Cost of nursing home care

According to the Division of Rehabilitation Services, the cost for services in the community is usually 2/3 the cost of nursing home care.  Not only are we increasing quality of life and consumer choice, we are saving State of Illinois taxpayers millions of dollars.

In Illinois, the average cost of nursing home care is $191.78 per day or $70,000 annually.  In comparison, home care costs one-quarter of nursing home care and provides for the freedom and dignity of individuals to fully live in their communities.

Since its inception, the Community Reintegration Program has resulted in over $225 Million in savings to the people of Illinois. Illinois receives a minimum of 50 cents returned for every $1 invested by means of Medicaid reimbursements. The state of Illinois spends 37 percent less per individual by reintegrating them back into society!

RAMP’s success with CRP

Since RAMP began providing CRP services in 1999, a total of 167 individuals with disabilities were transitioned from long-term care facilities back into the community.

FY 2013-2014 average up-front cost to reintegrate an individual was $6,582.73. This includes the cost of home modifications, rent and security deposits, initial utility hook-ups, home furnishings, durable medical equipment, and initial groceries. Of the 15 individuals with disabilities reintegrated during FY 2013-2014, the average monthly home service cost was $2,000.

Home services can be any combination of PA/CNA/RN/Homemaker care, emergency home response, and home delivered meals. The average cost of a CRP Customer’s first year of community-based services is $36,027. Compared to the average cost of a year in a nursing home at $70,000 per year, this is an overall savings of $32,316.

If you are interested in learning more about the Community Reintegration Program please contact your local RAMP office. To learn more about RAMP, please visit our website www.rampcil.org.

About RAMP

RAMP empowers individuals with disabilities through services and advocacy to live an independent life. This is accomplished by partnering with people to make changes in their own lives, seek peer support and remove barriers. RAMP advocates for the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for individuals with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access. To learn more about RAMP, visit our website: http://www.rampcil.org or contact your local RAMP office located in Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. RAMP is a United Way member agency.

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