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The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Malloy's Support of Home Care Draws Praise

Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget prioritizes home-care services for seniors, but also gives state agencies the go-ahead to trim some of their programs. (geralt/pixabay.com)
Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget prioritizes home-care services for seniors, but also gives state agencies the go-ahead to trim some of their programs. (geralt/pixabay.com)
February 5, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. - Despite a looming budget deficit, the Malloy administration has identified home care as a "core service" in Connecticut. Home care allows older people to live in their own homes, often with the support of unpaid family caregivers.

Claudio Gualtieri, associate state director for AARP Connecticut, said funding programs that encourage home care not only give seniors the choice of quality home care but also save money.

"Rather than serving someone in a nursing home or a hospital," he said, "we're able to make sure that they get the services they need in their own home, at a three times more cost-effective rate."

Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes cuts to a wide variety of programs, in an effort to reduce spending by $570 million. Those cuts include almost a 6 percent reduction in discretionary agency accounts. According to Gualtieri, that leaves it up to the agencies to decide what gets cut.

"There's still a good amount of uncertainty around how the Human Services' across-the-board 5.75 cut will roll out," he said.

AARP Connecticut is urging the governor and Legislature to maintain full funding for programs to support independent living for seniors. Gualtieri said those include the Statewide Respite Care Program, serving caregivers for people with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive impairments.

"These tend to be the caregivers that have some of the most strains," he said. "And being able to give them a hard-earned break, I think, will make sure that we keep our caregivers healthy, so they can be there for their loved ones."

AARP estimates that there are more than 450,000 unpaid family caregivers in Connecticut, providing some 427 million hours of care every year.

More information is online at states.aarp.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT