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Governor’s Budget Proposal Misses Opportunity to Save Millions by Not Supporting Aging-in-Place

Further Cuts to CT Home Care Program and uncertainty about Community First Choice threaten seniors’ ability to live safely at home

AARP Connecticut is disappointed Governor Malloy has once again proposed a budget with dramatic cuts to the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. The additional cuts will effectively end the state-funded program that provides seniors with an array of important and cost effective services ranging from Meals on Wheels, Home Health Care, Adult Day care and Visiting Nursing, often at a fraction of the cost of nursing home care.  Unfortunately, the Governor’s latest budget proposal will make it more difficult for Connecticut seniors to live safely and independently at home.

The Governor’s proposal would completely freeze new intake, cutting off future essential home care services to any senior in need. Within the past few years seniors have faced tens of millions of dollars in cuts to home care services, new co-pays and fees, a more than 25 percent cut in Alzheimer’s respite, elimination and eligibility cuts to senior nutrition and other health programs, and enrollment freezes for visiting nursing, adult day care and Meals on Wheels provided through the CT Home Care Program for Elders.

The cuts often hit the same seniors – the ones with the least financial ability to pay – multiple times and threatens their ability to age with dignity and independence at home:
• New Copay added to CT Home Care Services for Elders (2009)
• Home Care Copay increased (7%) (2011)
• Home Care Copay increased again (9%) (2015)
• Level 1 home care for seniors at risk of nursing home placement CLOSED (2015)
• Alzheimer’s respite care cut (2015)
• Alzheimer’s respite care cut AGAIN (2016)
• $6 Million in Aging-in-Place funding CANCELLED (2017)

And now, the Governor is proposing even deeper cuts to senior programs:
• Elimination of care for seniors at risk of nursing home care.
• Complete freeze on CT Home Care services for vulnerable seniors at nursing home level of need.
• Elimination of Community First Choice (CFC) program that provides personal care assistance to frail seniors and people with disabilities who want to live independently in the community.
• Additional cuts for prescription drugs.
• Elimination of fast-track screening to help seniors qualify for home care services.

While AARP Connecticut is pleased the Governor’s budget proposal preserves Alzheimer’s Respite Care for family caregivers, the damaging cuts to Aging-in-Place programs could permanently hinder the ability to serve Connecticut’s growing senior population in the most cost-effective setting—their home

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