Joint Committee on Elder Affairs

An Act relative to assisting elders and people with disabilities in the Commonwealth

Increases EAEDC (Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children) average monthly benefit to $429 from $303.70 and asset limit to $2500 from $250. Current benefit while in shelter is $92.80/month.
 

An Act authorizing the option of providing basic commons sense health services for residents of assisted

This legislation authorizes assisted living residences to exercise an option to provide an expanded set of basic health services to its residents: providing injections, such as Insulin; managing oxygen; application of drops or ointments; and/or changing a dressing and managing wound care.  Before permitting nurses to provide direct care for one or more of these services, the assisted living residence would have to apply for authorization to do so through the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
 

An Act directing the administration to amend the Frail Elder Home and community-Based Waiver to permit eligible older adults to choose to reside in Certified Assisted Living

This bill requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to report on the availability and estimated cost of said waiver which would allow individuals qualifying for Medicaid and at-risk for entering a nursing home to reside in an certified assisted living residence.
 

Resolve to examine cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilities

This asks the Center for Health Information and Analysis, in consultation with MassHealth, the Department of Elder Affairs, and the Health Policy Commission, to examine cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilities.

 

An Act relative to LGBT awareness training for aging service providers

This bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum and training program for delivery of accessible and appropriate services by caregivers and institutions to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults and their caregivers.  The curriculum would focus on the prevention and elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as well as on improving access to services.
 

An act preserving special needs trusts for disabled seniors

This bill would enable disabled older adults over 65 to continue to use special needs pooled trusts without penalty to pay for important services and care not covered by MassHealth.
 

An act relative to small house nursing homes

Small house nursing homes (most notably the Green House modelTM) are an innovative model of care designed to create a more homelike environment for 10-14 individuals needing a nursing home level of care.  
 
This legislation would require the Department of Public Health to develop regulations specific to small houses and would incentivize development of them by establishing an add-on to the Medicaid reimbursement rate in recognition of the additional capital costs involved in design and construction.
 

An Act establishing a home care aide training registry

The purpose of this legislation is to establish a home care aide workforce training registry focused on quality with safeguards and privacy protections for home care aides to monitor completion rates and certificates of home care aide training graduates as well as in-service and advanced training qualifications of home care aides trained by home care agencies.
 

An Act relative to rest homes

This legislation requires the Department of Public Health to separate regulations for Level IV rest homes (affordable, supportive housing for older adults and others who are unable to live independently but do not need intensive skilled services of nursing facilities) from the long term care licensing regulations.  Having separate regulations for these two types of long term care settings would ensure that regulations are consistent with updated care practices and reflect the unique needs of the population that live in rest homes. 
 

An Act protecting elders and persons with disabilities

Legislation would prevent caregivers from working the moment a criminal investigation is launched, and if they are found guilty or their cases are continued without a finding, the caregivers’ licenses would be permanently suspended.
 
They also would be barred from ever working with the elderly, children, and people with disabilities, even if their cases were continued without a finding, and would be fined if they tried to seek work as a caregiver with a suspended license.
 

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