Roughly 35 senior citizens were seated at the on Pool Street Tuesday as East Haven state Sen. Len Fasano, along with North Haven state Rep. Dave Yaccarino, stopped by to bring them up to date on the acts affecting seniors passed during the last legislative session.
In the pair’s presentation, Yaccarino noted that the median age in Connecticut is now 41 — the highest it has even been. “We have an aging population. As legislators, we need to be conscious of this situation,” he said.
“We’re trying to keep people in their homes as long as possible, getting the right treatment, getting the right medical attention,” said Fasano, describing the Aging in Place Task Force that the General Assembly created.
The 16-member Aging in Place Task Force, which must submit its findings to the Aging Committee by January 1, 2013, will examine such issues as infrastructure and transportation improvements, zoning changes to facilitate home care, expansion of home medical care options, and tax and private insurance incentives that will help the elderly stay in their homes.
Said Fasano: “It’s better for most people—those who don’t want to leave their house. This will allow them to stay longer.”
One act that the senator termed “kind of neat” involves interaction with other states. Here, an adult conservatorship law that takes place Oct. 1 creates rules and procedures for Connecticut probate courts to interact with courts in other states concerning adult conservatorships, including interstate transfers and registering out-of-state appointments.
“We also passed Grandparents' Visitation Rights,” said Yaccarino, who noted that, in both separation and divorce proceedings, grandparents, with regard to their grandchildren, can be left “out of the picture.
“In the legislation we passed this year,” he continued, “grandparents have the right, as long as they’re in a safe situation, to have clear visitation rights. It’s not ambiguous. And it’s important. Sometimes you need laws to make [these matters] clear and convincing.”
The law takes effect Oct. 1.
He also took note of a new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2013, that bars insurers from charging a deductible for the removal of polyps discovered by colorectal screening, when doctors remove that polyp at the time of the screening.
“It makes medical sense, and it makes dollar sense,” Yaccarino said.
“The other thing we’re bringing back is the Department of Aging,” said Fasano, who noted that a department had existed before. During this past legislative session, the General Assembly funded a Department of Aging once again--this, in the midterm budget adjustments--in the amount of $100,000.
“It’s coming back to advocate for the aging population this year,” Fasano said.