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News from State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr.

July 29, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 3200
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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Legislative Recap: Working Hard to Protect Our Seniors

This year, I supported the passage of several important new laws that will improve life in Connecticut for our state's older residents. Below is information on just a few of these pieces of legislation:

Keeping Patients Informed

Senior talk
Patients and their families rely on stability and consistency when it comes to long-term care in a nursing facility. This year, I joined my colleagues in passing a bill that aims to keep patients apprised of any upcoming changes when the owners of a long-term facility are planning to terminate services or substantially reduce the number of available beds at the nursing home. Under this legislation, the nursing home will be required to communicate these plans to the Department of Social Services, The Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman and to all patients and their designated caregivers in order to ensure that patients are aware of the rights and services that are available to them.

Granny Pods Offer a Way to Stay Close to Family

SeniorAs Connecticut's population ages, creative ways to allow elderly people to stay close to home or to family members are being sought, and temporary health care structures--or "Granny Pods"--are a potential way to do that, according to AARP.

I supported the passage of a new law that establishes a task force to study the zoning of these structures, and to develop a model zoning ordinance for temporary health care units.

The units would be approximately 300 square feet, ADA compliant, and allow those who use them to have a safe, single-level housing unit on their own property--providing residents with an option other than moving into a nursing care facility or remodeling their existing home to meet the person's current health needs. In the long run, these "Granny Pods" could save both families and our state Medicaid program a significant amount of money. Instead of placing a family member in a nursing home, residents would able to age-in-place, and allow family members to participate in their care.

Protecting Seniors from Vague Nursing Home Contracts

SeniorThe transition to institutional living can be stressful and chaotic, and even the most astute person may miss a detail or two. I supported the passage of Senate Bill 266, which ensures that nursing homes are required to clearly inform residents and their families of the duties, responsibilities and liabilities placed upon them under the residency contract. Misunderstanding the contract can lead to unpaid bills and significant legal or financial ramifications. By clarifying contract language, this bill ensures that seniors and their families know what they need to do to hold up their end of the contract, as well as any potential penalties they may face.

Getting Services to Seniors

As our population ages, the State of Connecticut has been focused on increasing the services that are available for older adults. Connecting the state's older population with those services can be challenging, due to a host of factors, including mobility, geography and the complexity of the health care delivery system. As a result of a bill passed this year, a task force will study the best practices for developing a strategy to reach all residents age 60 and older in order to inform them of the health and human services that they may benefit from.


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My mailing address is:
Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., Legislative Office Building, Room 3200, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0455, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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