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AARP Connecticut Applauds ARPA Investments to Enhance Home and Community Based Services

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More than 4 out of 5 Americans say they want to receive care at home instead of in an institutional setting if they need long-term care services in the future, according to a recent AARP survey. As part of ongoing state and federal efforts to “rebalance” long-term services and supports, the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included a 10% temporary enhancement to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for home and community-based services (HCBS). This unprecedented investment in home and community-based services presents Connecticut with a tremendous opportunity to bolster the programs and services that allow individuals to safely remain in their homes as they age.

AARP Connecticut appreciates the State of Connecticut’s ongoing commitment to serving a greater number of older and disabled residents in home and community settings, and we applaud the State’s spending plan for ARPA’s 10% FMAP increase. The plan includes strategic investments to strengthen the HCBS workforce, expand the use of assistive technology, enhance self-directed services, transform the systems that deliver HCBS, and improves home accessibility, provider infrastructure and the quality of care people receive in home and community-based settings. These are all important areas of improvement that will allow more individuals to receive care in the setting of their choosing.

We are especially pleased that the State’s plan acknowledges informal and unpaid caregivers as a critical part of the HCBS workforce. There are 460,000 family caregivers in Connecticut, and they act as the backbone of our long-term care system. The State’s plan will “provide access to caregiver assessment, dementia supports, care coordination, respite services, and training.” Providing these supports will reduce burn-out amongst caregivers and improve the quality of care that care recipients receive at home.

Thank you to Governor Lamont and Connecticut Department of Social Services for developing a thoughtful plan, which includes input from AARP and other stakeholder groups, to enhance home and community-based services for older and disabled Connecticut residents. We hope these temporary funds will support workers, improve care, and provide a roadmap for future policy development and investments in Connecticut’s long-term care systems.

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