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Stories of Impact: Aroostook Area Agency on Aging

by Katie Manter

This case study is part of MANP’s Stories of Impact series highlighting the many ways Maine’s nonprofits are essential to a strong and healthy Maine. Read MANP’s full Adding Impact Report. 

The Aroostook Area Agency on Aging (AAAA) helps older people age in place, allowing them to maintain their independence and community connections while ensuring they have adequate food and support with the bonus of reducing costs. Through a new innovative and replicable Thriving in Place program, AAAA is reducing costly hospital readmissions by 23%. This program offers free meals to those recently released from the hospital with an opportunity for a trained worker to visit the person in their home and assess the need for additional services.

Good nutrition is critical to good health and well-being. According to experts, malnutrition is common among hospital patients and is a risk factor for readmission.

Studies show that preventable hospital readmissions cost the U.S. health care system tens of billions of dollars annually.

AAAA’s success includes:

  • 23% reduction in readmissions. Early indicators show of those with home visits, 5 out of 13 (38%) are readmitted compared to 8 out of 13 (62%) readmissions for those without home visits.
  • 179 out of 557 (32%) patients accept meals.
  • 247 out of 557 (44%) patients accept home visits.
  • 80% of those accepting meals were happy with them.
  • 44% receiving meals believed additional meals would be beneficial.
  • 92% accepting meals scheduled a follow-up appointment with their primary care physician.

 

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