AARP Connecticut: State’s Special Agenda Addresses Key Issues; Misses Opportunity to Tackle an Urgent Need
AARP Connecticut commends Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly on the decision to address four urgent issues during an upcoming special session: expanding absentee voting for the November election, making telehealth more accessible, capping the cost of insulin, and police accountability. AARP Connecticut recognizes the importance of these topics and supports their inclusion in a special session, but the state’s legislative leaders missed an opportunity to tackle the critical issues impacting those in nursing home and residential care facilities.
The significant and unprecedented challenges nursing homes and other residential care facilities are facing due to the pandemic has created an urgent and vital need for increased accountability to ensure the safety and health of their residents. The June 8 Washington Post article (As nursing home residents died, new covid-19 protections shielded companies from lawsuits. Families say that hides the truth.) illustrates the urgent need for policy changes.
AARP Connecticut Calls on Congress to Address Growing Needs of Older Americans Amid Coronavirus Crisis
AARP Connecticut has recently met virtually with federal lawmakers to urge more help for older Americans and their families as they face growing health and economic challenges due to the coronavirus crisis. Residents in nursing homes, those who are food-insecure, and people who have lost their jobs are particularly in need.
On April 30, 2020, AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan sent the letter below to Governor Ned Lamont strongly recommending immediate actions related to the August 11, 2020, and November 3, 2020, elections that will provide Connecticut’s older adults and those at most risk from COVID-19 access to voting while ensuring their health protection.
AARP is providing information and resources about COVID-19 to help older Connecticut residents, and their families protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others.
AARP Connecticut Calls on Governor Lamont to Make Changes to June 2, 2020, Primary Voting Requirements
On April 1, 2020, AARP Connecticut sent the letter below to Governor Ned Lamont strongly recommending immediate actions related to the rescheduled June 2, 2020, Connecticut Primary that will provide older adults and those at most risk from COVID-19 access to voting while ensuring their health protection.
AARP Connecticut has called on policy makers to take action to ensure the 22,000 nursing home residents in Connecticut and their loved ones can safely stay in contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 20, 2020, AARP Connecticut sent a letter to the state’s Governor and Commissioner of Public Health strongly recommending modifications to a March 13, 2020, Public Health Order banning visitors to nursing homes, including residents’ immediate family and caregivers. For example, requiring nursing homes to offer and facilitate virtual video visitation, as well as other enhanced communications, will help prevent social isolation, reduce anxiety, and promote safety, among other benefits. In addition, AARP Connecticut provided testimony to the Human Services Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly strongly recommending allowing passive video monitoring in nursing homes. AARP Connecticut followed this with an email to every member of the Connecticut General Assembly on March 23, 2020, asking that any legislative action in response to COVID-19 codify these recommendations.
Age discrimination has been illegal for more than 50 years, however a 2018 AARP survey of people age 45 and over show problems persist. More than 60% of respondents witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace and nearly 45% of those who applied or interviewed for a job in the previous two years were asked age-related questions such as birth and graduation dates.
AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan provided the following statement in regards to Governor Lamont’s State of the State Address and Senate Bill 1:
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