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ST. LOUIS, MO (AP) – A St. Louis nonprofit is helping those with Alzheimer’s disease stay in their homes longer, a model that the founder says benefits the person with the disease while saving millions of dollars for taxpayers who often foot the bill for nursing home care.

Memory Care Home Solutions founder Lisa Baron testified Wednesday before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill co-chairs the committee along with Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Baron says that on average, her clients stay home a full year longer than others at similar stages of the disease. That is accomplished by teaching caregivers skills to lessen the side effects of Alzheimer’s and to keep the person with the illness safe.