North Carolina officials say a federal grant will help about 550 older and disabled North Carolinians stay home instead of being placed in nursing homes and hospitals.

The nearly $$17 million grant is part of a larger 5-year federal project that will pay for caregivers to provide services in homes. Officials say one goal is to save money — for example, a nursing home can easily cost $$50,000 a year.

The other goal is to allow people to live at home as they age, which is a growing desire among older people. The program is being designed now. The benefit is expected to be available to people next year.

Hopefully, South Carolina will be able to get funds to help citizens of this State avoid nursing homes.

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