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Posted on March 9, 2024


HARTFORD – On Thursday morning, State Representative and House Ranking Member of the Aging Committee Mitch Bolinsky (R – Newtown) had the pleasure to join the Speaker of the House Matthew Ritter (D – Hartford) and State Representative and House Aging Committee Chair Jane Garibay (D- Windsor, Windsor Locks) for a press conference to champion HB 5001 – AN ACT SUPPORTING CONNECTICUT SENIORS AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF NURSING AND HOME-BASED CARE.

HB 5001 is a large omnibus bill that addresses several elder related issues, such as creating guidelines to protect older residents who live in assisted living facilities from financial and physical harm, providing resources to those who wish to age in their own home, and additional training to help improve the quality of care from homecare workers. It is one of five bills that Speaker Ritter designated as a legislative priority.

If passed HB 5001will implement several measures, such as:

  1. Create a registry of all homecare workers
  2. Expand Training for Homecare workers, specifically for dealing with Harassment, Abuse, and Discrimination of Caregivers
  3. Expand training opportunities for family members taking care of the elderly.
  4. Expand the number of fingerprint scanning locations to make them more accessible to job candidates

“I want to thank the bipartisan leadership team of the Aging Committee who are working incredibly hard to make lasting, impactful change,” Speaker Ritter said. “Lasting change doesn’t come without bipartisan legislation, and I think the final product will reflect that. This is not an issue that gets solved in a single session. We are looking to keep moving forward.”

“The challenges facing our aging population are not isolated incidents; they are part of a larger trend. As our society ages, these issues will only become more pronounced. Our legislation not only acknowledges these complexities but also paves the way for crucial improvements. I am proud of this legislation and am eager to do my part and push it closer to the finish line,” said Rep. Garibay.

“I’m grateful for the commitment Speaker Ritter is making to Connecticut’s seniors in HB-5001, ‘The Speaker’s Bill’. ‘An Act Supporting Connecticut Seniors and the Improvement of Nursing and Home-Based Care’. As soon as we finish sifting through the overwhelmingly positive public comment, it will be a groundbreaking, far-reaching policy statement. It’s an honor to be part of this effort and for the confidence he’s placed in Aging Committee leadership to help hammer out good solutions to tough problems.  We’ve done it before, hand-in-hand, with a singular focus on improving the lives of our state’s ‘golden population’, and we’re not shy about rolling-up our sleeves and working together to challenge the status quo,” said Rep. Bolinsky.

“From making ‘Aging in Place’ more affordable with presumptive Medicaid eligibility, to greater oversight and higher standards of care in our state’s nursing homes, we address the broader long-term care spectrum. Today, most older adults express a preference for being cared for at home, or community-based settings instead of in nursing homes.  Nearly 80% of elder home care is done by unpaid family, friends, or other caregivers, and almost half of American families caring for an older adult doing so for someone with dementia. The time is now to address caregivers’ needs for Respite,” added Rep. Bolinsky.

Long term care (LTC) options will expand to include provisions to help people of all ages get quality care in the setting of their choice. The state’s LTC Ombudsmen program will be steadily expanded to be our seniors’ problem resolution point of contact for health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals who live in LTC facilities., and our five Area Agencies on Aging will become a focal point for information and access to support options that have, traditionally, been hard to locate.

There’s way too much to cover in this quote so, stay tuned for updates!”

The Aging Committee held a public hearing for HB 5001 on Tuesday, March 5.