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Bolinsky Achieves Elder Care Goal After Decade Of Work



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Newtown’s State Representative, Mitch Bolinsky, contacted The Newtown Bee this week to share great news, that a “huge aging bill” passed the House 143 to 3 on Monday. Bolinsky called the bill a “huge, transformative bill on aging in place, that will change things for the way people age in their homes.”

Bolinsky is a ranking member on the House’s Aging Committee.

“People don’t want to have to go to a nursing home,” said Bolinsky. “This will help end involuntary commitments.”

Items that could never be considered for assistance before are now able to be reasonably accomplished, according to Bolinsky, such as adding wheelchair ramps or widening doors to a bathroom in homes.

Before there were no options for a loved one to stay at home in cases like someone suffering with Alzheimer’s, according to Bolinsky.

“This is a quantum leap,” said Bolinsky, who told The Bee that he has been working on this legislation with others in the Aging Committee for at least 10 years.

The proposal would also help people get quicker access to Medicaid so they can receive care at home. Legislators recommended creating a presumptive eligibility program, in which case managers and social workers use screening tools and financial information to swiftly determine if a person qualifies for Medicaid and to offer services.

Bolinsky praised the move toward presumptive eligibility, saying he knew multiple people who were pushed toward a nursing home while they awaited Medicaid enrollment authorization.

Bolinsky said he expects the bill to pass the senate and that the “governor is eager to sign the bill.”

For more information on the elder care bill, see the CT Mirror article.

The elder care bill is good news for Connecticut residents, who may have loved ones requiring additional care, or who may require additional care themselves. Seeing the state legislature put forward a bill to take care of its oldest residents is an investment in the happiness and future of all residents in the state.

Bolinsky also spoke of indoor air quality grants for Newtown to the tune of $3.5 million. Last year, the town was seeking an indoor air quality grant for Hawley School, but it was turned down. Meanwhile, Bolinsky said, half of the available money went to a single town.

“I don’t think the process worked well last year,” said Bolinsky.

This year, however, Bolinsky said the town has secured the grants, of which $2.5 million will be used to pay retroactively for Hawley School’s air quality improvements, while $500,000 will go towards a project at Head O’Meadow School and the remaining $500,000 will go towards a project at the high school.

Bolinsky also said the town is “pretty close” in receiving grants for the Senior Center and FONS.

The Newtown Bee will be speaking further with Bolinsky, as well as Representative Tony Foncello and Senator Tony Hwang, about the state’s legislative session, which is ending May 8.

Through their frequent interaction with and visits to the office of The Bee, we know our Newtown delegation’s constituent service never really ends. We also know that all three have worked tirelessly in recent months to ensure the needs of their constituents, including ours in Newtown, are addressed.

State Representative Mitch Bolinsky is proud of an aging in place bill he helped pass.
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