Testimony on the Commission on Aging, February 19, 2013

Appropriations Committee State Agency Budget Presentations:

 Legislative Commission on Aging

February 19th, 2013

Testimony of Susan Raggo, Co-chair, NASW-Connecticut Chapter, Committee on Aging:

Good Afternoon Senator Harp, Representative Walker, and members of the committee.  I come before you today to advocate in support of the need for our Connecticut Commission on Aging. The CoA must not be eliminated, or consolidated. Rather, the commission needs to continue its work as a non partisan agency in the legislative branch of state government.

I experienced firsthand the work of the commission while serving as a social work intern with the Commission, at age 54, in 2005.

As a nonpartisan, public policy and research office of the CT General Assembly, the CoA serves as staff to the legislature, as a leader in the field of aging, and as a catalyst for data-driven policy change.  The CoA leads public/private-sector efforts to promote public policy reflecting best practices and national trends on multi-faceted aging issues. The Commission on Aging is visionary, but grounded in reality and uses data to develop policy recommendations.

Since my time as a Social Work intern with the commission, I have gone on to work with the aging population in many communities in Connecticut: urban, suburban and rural. I have helped older adults look for housing options, health care, home care workers, food, fuel, legal assistance, transportation, mental health counseling, and caregiver support.  Now, at age 61, I better understand the need to define and to create livable communities. I understand the economic realities and challenges of aging in place.

As a Social Worker, I have a responsibility to advocate for my clients. I do this on a daily basis with my clients. I urge you to make a commitment to invest into a “long term care policy” for your constituents, our aging population, our communities and our state. Please keep the Commission on Aging as a nonpartisan agency in the legislative branch of state government.

Thank you,

Susan Raggo, MSW, co-chair Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

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