Joseph Serra

August 17, 2012

SERRA TO LEAD STATE PANEL ON “AGING IN PLACE”
Will look to encourage more home care options for elderly

State Representative Joseph Serra has been selected to co-chair a new state task force charged with finding ways to help more elderly residents receive the care they need in their homes instead of having to be admitted to a nursing facility.

The Task Force on Aging in Place is a result of legislation (SA 12-6) sponsored by Serra and passed this year, and will look at issues such as expansion of home medical care, enhanced nutrition and transportation options as well as zoning changes to facilitate home care availability. Tax incentives, insurance coverage along with fraud and abuse protections will also be examined.

“Most everyone would prefer to stay in their home as long as possible and our goal is to find ways to make that option available to more people and their families,” said Serra, who also serves as House Chairman of the Legislature’s Committee on Aging. “Home care costs are significantly less than a nursing home, so this is also good for taxpayers in the long run.”

The panel’s findings are due to the General Assembly by the end of the year so the legislature can act on the recommendation during the 2013 legislative session. In addition to lawmakers, task force members will include the commissioner of the state Department of Social Services and the chairperson of the Connecticut Commission on Aging.

The non-profit LeadingAge Connecticut which works to advance the quality of services and care for older adults and chronically ill individuals in the setting of their choice testified in support of the task force earlier this year. “This study will broaden our understanding of the needs of our older population as they strive to maintain their independence and age in place,” said LeadingAge Connecticut President Mag Morelli.