Working to Protect Our Seniors

May 22, 2018

By: Senator John A. Kissel

While working in the State Senate, advocating for seniors has been at the top of my priority list. These are folks that have worked their entire lives to support their families and serve our communities – the very least we can do is provide services for them to age safely in the way they choose.

Did you know that in Connecticut seniors make up roughly 14 percent of the state’s population – with the state allocating 10 percent of the annual state budget for long-term care for seniors. By 2032 the number of seniors is expected to balloon, making seniors approximately one quarter of the total population of our state. That is why I have been working with my colleagues to make sure there are adequate community based services and programs to help our elderly population.

During the 2018 Legislative Session we took many steps to help our senior population by:

  • Restoring funding for the Medicare Savings Program to all 169,450 seniors
  • Restoring funding for the Elderly Nutrition Program
  • Protecting funding for the Connecticut Home Care Program
  • Maintaining retiree tax breaks for pension and social security income
  • Restoring the $200 property tax credit which supports elderly families

We must invest now in our caregivers and community based programs that support seniors who wish to age-in-place at home. At the end of the day aging-in-place, rather than a long-term care facility, is more cost-effective and what 90 percent of seniors want.

This session we also passed legislation that protects seniors applying for reverse mortgages. This legislation will prevent Connecticut banks from originating a reverse mortgage unless the bank has informed the applicant of the HUD counseling requirement, the applicant has attended the counseling session and the counseling session was conducted in person. Many of us have heard frightening stories of people being thrown out of their homes due to a reverse mortgage – this takes steps to prevent this.

Our seniors have given our state so much and I am happy to continue to advocate for them in Hartford.