Senator Kelly – “Our Seniors Deserve Better”

February 24, 2017

Senator Kelly and AARP Urge Legislators to Support Aging in Place Initiatives
HARTFORD, Conn. – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) today released the following statement regarding recent proposed cuts to essential senior services and aging in place initiatives, as part of Governor Malloy’s budget proposal.

“During my tenure in the State Senate I have witnessed this administration continually disregard the needs of our seniors and their caregivers, and the high costs associated with long-term care for the elderly. We need to get serious about the community based services we offer and evaluate more cost-effective solutions,” said Sen. Kelly. “Unfortunately, it is even more-clear following this year’s budget proposal that aging in place is not a priority for the governor.”

In Connecticut seniors make up 14 percent of the state’s population and the state allocates approximately $2.8 billion or roughly 10 percent of the annual state budget for long-term nursing home care for seniors.

“By 2032 the number of our seniors is projected to balloon and increase by nearly 69 percent, making Connecticut seniors one quarter of the total population,” said Sen. Kelly. “If we continue to spend in the same manner as is currently done, when the senior population increases in 2032, the state could be spending at least $5 billion on nursing home care. How are we going to afford this?”

“Instead of pursuing cost-effective ways to address our aging population the governor’s proposal erodes many essential community based programs, programs that make it affordable for families to meet the high expenses of staying at home,” said Sen. Kelly.

The governor’s budget proposes to cap Category 2 eligibility for the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE). This program was specifically created as a cost-effective way to save Medicaid costs associated with institutional care and keeps people in their homes. This comes on the heels of the governor’s cap of Category 1 which is the entry point of the CHCPE and successful aging in place. Additionally, the governor has also proposed to decrease the personal needs allowance for recipients of Medicaid who reside in long-term care facilities – this decrease will be to $50.

“With this proposal caregivers and family members will now have to shoulder even more burden because of the governor’s unrelenting fiscal irresponsibility and hostility toward aging in place,” said Sen. Kelly. “I urge my fellow legislators to stand up against these cuts. We must work to provide people a choice of how they live as they age. Our seniors deserve better.”

AARP is urging everyone to contact their senator at 1-844-220-5525 and ask them to protect programs that allow seniors to live independently at home.

“AARP applauds Sen. Kelly for recognizing that the only way we can continue to provide high quality care to our growing senior population is by investing – not cutting – home and community based services. We call on all legislators from both parties to support Sen. Kelly’s work to make aging-in-place a budget priority,” said Nora Duncan, AARP CT state Director.