Testimony on Aging in Place, February 5, 2013

Testimony on House Bill 5762, 5765, 5757, and Senate Bill 520

“Aging In Place”

Submitted by Paul Donovan on February 5th, 2013


Dear Members of the Committee on Aging,


My name is Paul Donovan, Hamden resident, and I am a Southern Connecticut State University Masters of Social Work (MSW) student, and I’m also a member of the CT Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  I’m writing you today in support of Special Act 12-6 and the good work the Aging in Place Task Force are doing in their goal to enhance services to those who wish to remain living in the community regardless of their physical ability levels, age and income. Therefore, I’m writing this letter to you in support of S.B. 520, H.B. 5762, H.B. 5765, and H.B. 5757.

As a social work professional, I’m privileged enough to transition individuals back to the community after often long, stressful and expensive stays inside of nursing facilities. In the majority of cases, my satisfaction comes from seeing individuals find happiness, health and security at home after being separated from the communities in which they spent the majority of their lives working and raising families.

Therefore, I support the expansion of Medicaid Long-Term Care to individuals who wish to remain living with their spouses in the community. It goes without saying that patients don’t get better in hospitals, but rather their recovery takes place in the safety their home environment provides and also with their preferred caretaker.  Every day I witness how taxing nursing home and hospital stays are on people, and I believe that the most humane and cost effective way for the State of Connecticut to meet the needs of individuals is to have them remain at home, where they can easily receive the highest quality assistance from teams of community based supporters, including Case Managers, Visiting Nurses, Personal Care Assistants, Residential Assistants and Companion Services.

Additionally, I support all improvements which can be made to existing state infrastructure and transportation, which could diminish the stress many people face when they have to schedule rides and wait for pick-ups. Programs such as The Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elderly and Money Follows the Person should have the flexibility to expand eligibility to Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens, such as the elderly, metal health and substance abuse populations, the developmentally disabled and Alzheimer’s patients.

The philosophy of Person Centered Planning works to ensure that the dignity and worth of the individual is preserved above all other considerations. I’m convinced that expanding coverage for community based living supports is clearly the best way for our state to move forward. This legislative session, I look forward to seeing the expansion of coverage and improvements to existing services the Aging Committee enacts.


Paul Donovan, BSW

Speak Your Mind