WINDSOR- In a room packed with senior citizens at the Windsor Caring Connection, leadership of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Aging, including State Representatives Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown), Ranking Member and House Co-Chair Jane Garibay (D-Windsor), along with Senate Co-Chair Jan Hochadel (D-Meriden) attended a ceremonial bill signing for two bills concerning aging and elder care with Governor Ned Lamont.
Rep. Bolinsky said, “Today’s bill signing marks an historic strengthening of policy for Connecticut’s growing population of ‘mature’ residents. We, and I, have been working to bring about this policy expansion for nearly a decade and now, it’s exciting to see pass it unanimously and become the law of the land. The timing is critical, as we heard today from our friends at AARP, who reported for the first time in Connecticut history, the number of state residents aged 65 and over is about to pass our state’s population of children under 18. Policy to support this demographic milestone is now in-place and the hard work of planning, transitioning, and implementing to make our state a leader in comprehensive senior-services and caregiving can begin! I am thankful to Governor Lamont and his staff for their support and, especially to my Co-Chairs and members of the Aging Committee for the collective efforts that went into this very non-partisan effort.”
The event, hosted by the Governor’s office, celebrated Public Act No. 23-30 (HB-6677): An Act Concerning Adult Day Centers and Public Act No. 23-48 (HB-5781): An Act Concerning Notice of a Proposed Involuntary Transfer or Discharge of a Nursing Facility Resident, Family Councils in Managed Residential Communities, Coordination of Dementia Services, Nursing Home Transparency and Homemaker-Companion Agencies.
In Public Act No. 23-30, An Act Concerning Adult Day Centers the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner is required to develop a plan to increase eligibility for adult day services under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) and report to the Aging Committee on the plan by February 1, 2024. The new law also allows the commissioner to submit a Medicaid state plan amendment to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover Program of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly.
In Public Act No. 23-48, An Act Concerning Notice of a Proposed Involuntary Transfer or Discharge of a Nursing Facility Resident, Family Councils in Managed Residential Communities, Coordination of Dementia Services, Nursing Home Transparency and Homemaker-Companion Agencies nursing home transparency and reporting requirements are addressed, as well as an expansion of supports for people with dementia. This act also implements the recommendations of the legislature’s Homemaker-Companion Agency Task Force.
Bolinsky concluded, saying: “As ten-year family caregivers, three-times over, my family and I can attest to how tough it is to make good choices for our loved-ones, and feel comfortable that we’re doing what’s best and most appropriate for our aging parents and loved ones as they move through their next stages of life. Finding good care and trustworthy partners for the journey is about to get far easier through a new level of oversight, consistent care standards, and transparency that should also go a long way to raise the bar and allow our folks to live their golden years with the dignity, and choices they deserve.”