Aging In Place Program

No senior citizen wants to admit they may need to move into a nursing home. It used to be a tough transition, but now new nursing home programs are making the move a little easier to cope with. It's a program started by Missouri Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell called the Aging in Place program. Cape Girardeau's Lutheran Home is one of four homes in the state heading it up by focusing on different levels of care for seniors, in one place.

Nursing home resident Edvira Leible says, "I had to have help. We don't have any children and I saw Fred going down, and I knew I needed help." That happened three years ago. Leible has been living at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau ever since. "I don't have to work," Leible says. "They come in and clean my house and set flowers out for me." Leible lives in a duplex on the nursing home campus, but the last week and a half, she's been living inside the Lutheran Home so she can get rehabilitation for a broken hip. It's a temporary situation, but it's one that could have been permanent if the Lutheran Home didn't have all the services she needs.

Susan Essner, activity and social services director at the home says, "It's an opportunity for senior adults to grow into their age, without having to transition from one place to another as their mental and health needs increase. They know that if they become ill we'll provide supplemental services or supplemental living environment until they can return to what they consider their home."

That time away from home doesn't bother Leible, because she knows she'll be able to go back soon. "It's been okay. I didn't care much for the food at first but you get used to it," Leible says. Nursing homes in Kirksville, Springfield, and Columbia are working with Cape's Lutheran Home on this new program.