The future of in-home care uncertain despite push from governor for greater utilization (copy)

The modern-day nursing home had its awakening in the 1960s, but when the ’70s arrived, society began recognizing the poor living conditions of institutionalized care. The ’80s brought a paradigm shift toward assisted living, which promised a bright future and revolutionized senior care.

Now, Montana and the U.S. are taking another jarring step in geriatric health care with aging in place.

As a string of 11 nursing home closures rippled through the state’s rural communities in 2022 — more closures than occurred in the four years leading up to the pandemic — Gov. Greg Gianforte responded by encouraging the aged to grow old at home with the help of in-home care services or with their families.

While the data does reflect a growing desire to age at home, the state lacks the infrastructure to keep up with the swell in demand for in-home care services. Between the shortage of in-home services and the massive reduction in institutionalized care, most citizens with aging or disabled family members are left with no choice but to become the full-time caregiver.

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