NTG Commentary on the CMS ‘Settings Rule’ and Applications for Housing Adults with Intellectual Disability Living with Dementia (Statement)
This NTG advisory addresses an issue that many community-based organizations may encounter when state officials must attest as to whether "heightened scrutiny" is needed to determine whether small dementia-capable group homes should be included in their HCBS waivers. The NTG contends that supporting specialized services for adults with intellectual disability living with dementia in group homes is in the spirit of both the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and the Olmstead Decision, as it provides for safe housing in a least restrictive setting in the community, with specialized services that are appropriate to meet the needs of individuals with progressively diminishing cognitive and functional abilities. The NTG believes that recognition should be given to small dementia-capable group home settings as a proven best practice support model, which upholds the rights of adults with dementia to live in the community under HCBS waivers funded by the health and social service systems in each state. When properly funded, these settings can provide personalized care, promote well-being and safety from harm, give attention to changing nutritional and dietary needs, and engage residents in activities that mitigate memory loss and cognitive decline. The NTG also believes that recognition should be given to the advantages of small dementia-capable group homes when compared to the costs and outcomes of services that are provided in nursing facilities, because dementia-capable group homes are both less expensive on a per deim basis and more effective in enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with dementia.