Elder Care Bill Emerges as a Priority with Bipartisan Support

March 13, 2024

Leaders of the Aging Committee recently announced that legislation designed to improve the quality and access to elder care is a priority for them this session and has strong bipartisan support.

The comprehensive bill (HB 5001) addresses several elder related issues, such as creating guidelines to protect residents 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.

An Aging Nation

In addition to Aging Committee House Chair Jane Garibay, who represents Windsor and Windsor Locks, and Republican Ranking Member Mitch Bolinsky of Newtown, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter of Hartford also said the bill is a priority.

“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."

If signed into law, the bill will implement several measures, such as:

  • Create a registry of all homecare workers
  • Expand training for homecare workers, specifically for dealing with harassment, abuse, and discrimination of caregivers
  • Expand training opportunities for family members taking care of the elderly.

Home Care

"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," said Rep. Garibay.

Being able to stay at home and receive needed care there is understandably preferred by aging adults versus moving to a long-term care facility. This places both a burden and stress on family and friends who provide most of the home care to loved ones. It's critical that both home care options for families are expanded as well as the quality of care in nursing homes raised.

"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," Rep. Bolinsky said.

The Aging Committee held a public hearing for the bill on March 5, with the full committee scheduled to vote on the legislation in the coming weeks.