AARP Connecticut released the statement below from State Advocacy Director Claudio Gualtieri, in response to Governor Malloy’s proposed State Budget cuts to the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) and Alzheimer's Respite Program. The Governor has proposed more than doubling the current cost-share for clients of the CHCPE from 7% to 15%, and closing access to Level 1 of the program for new clients, as well as cutting funding by more than $500,000 for the Respite care Program:
“Increasing the cost-share on frail seniors who receive services under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders was a bad idea every time it was proposed by the Rell Administration, and it’s still a horrible idea. State legislators have repeatedly rejected similar proposals in the past because it’s been proven that increasing the cost-share doesn’t save the state money in the long run, and has the potential to harm the health and well-being our state’s most frail and vulnerable seniors.
“The Connecticut Home Care Program is a critical first line of defense that helps keep seniors out of nursing homes and allows them to receive care at home – where they want to be. Increasing the cost-share will force people off the program or require them to cut recommended services, potentially harming their health. This one-two punch of more than doubling the current cost-share and freezing access to Level 1 of the program will force more seniors into more expensive nursing facilities and end up costing the state – and taxpayers – more money in the long run.
“A recent AARP survey found that 44% of families already contribute their own money to the care needs of their loved ones. Increasing the cost-share and cutting respite services will further burden family caregivers who are already providing billions of dollars in unpaid care to help their loved ones live independently at home. If the Governor is truly interested in supporting families and balancing the state’s finances, he should rescind this proposal and instead continue to focus efforts on helping more people get the care they need at home.”