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Budget Called Bad News for CT Caregivers and Seniors Who Need Them

PHOTO: Advocates say Gov. Dannel Malloy's new budget will double the share cost for caregivers help for at risk seniors. Courtesy AARP/Istockphoto/Alexis Rathis
PHOTO: Advocates say Gov. Dannel Malloy's new budget will double the share cost for caregivers help for at risk seniors. Courtesy AARP/Istockphoto/Alexis Rathis
February 19, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. Dannel Malloy unveiled his new $40 billion budget on Wednesday, and advocates say it spells bad news for caregivers and the frail Connecticut seniors who need them.

Claudio Gualtieri, associate state director of advocacy for AARP Connecticut, says the budget will double the cost share from 7 percent to 15 percent for seniors at risk of long term hospitalization or nursing home care.

"There's 1,100 people served under that program now,” Gualtieri points out. “It prevents them from entering nursing homes and it saves the state money in the long run by avoiding institutional care – and there's a cut to the program and then it is basically timed out. "

By timed out, Gualtieri says that means new seniors would be prohibited from joining the program under the governor's proposal. He says the budget slashes another half billion dollars for respite care programs.

Malloy says he was forced to make tough choices that under ideal circumstances he would not make.

But Gualtieri says cuts to caregiver programs will cost the state plenty more in the long run.

"The idea is that if we can provide some basic services – like visiting nurses, homemaker companions, home delivered meals, a little bit of help around the house with activities and daily life – then a senior can live independently at home," he says.

Gualtieri adds AARP research shows that caregivers can serve older adults in the community at a fraction of the cost of nursing home care.

AARP data also indicates that 44 percent of families already are paying out of pocket for the care of a loved one.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT