Sen. Kelly: Aging-in-Place Legislation “makes sure the voice of seniors is heard.”

May 7, 2024

(Watch excerpts of Sen. Kelly’s comments here and here)

Sen. Kevin Kelly, the former co-chair of the legislature’s Aging Committee and an elder law attorney, today applauded the Senate’s advancement of legislation he is co-sponsoring which increases support for at-home care for elderly people in Connecticut. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

“Whenever I ask seniors the question, ‘Does anyone want to go to a nursing home?’, the answer I almost always get is a resounding ‘no’,” Sen. Kelly said. “So, if people don’t want to enter nursing homes, and it’s less expensive to stay home, and there are better health outcomes from staying home, we must pass policies which help seniors age in place. This bill is a major step forward. This is what our seniors would expect us to do. I thank the members of the Aging Committee and my legislative colleagues for passing this bill and making sure the voice of seniors are heard. ”

“These issues mean so much to our seniors who have given so much of themselves,” Sen. Kelly said. “Whenever our nation has asked them to sacrifice, they’ve done it. Now, it’s our job as state lawmakers to make aging in place work for them.”

The bill, which has the support of the AARP, requires agencies employing home health aides and home care professionals to provide better training on recognizing and responding to harassment, abuse and discrimination.

The bill includes a regulatory presumption of Medicaid eligibility for people who remain in their homes but need outside help; a concept championed by Senator Kelly. It creates an online state nursing home consumer dashboard which would provide detailed information on quality of care in the state’s nursing home industry. It also expands the state’s Homecare Program by providing stipends for Medicaid-eligible people to stay in their homes and avoid much-more expensive nursing homes.

Photo above:
In the State Senate Chamber, left to right: Sen. Kevin Kelly, Aging Committee Co-Chair Rep. Jane Garibay, D-Windsor), and Sen. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield).