As part of a series acknowledging May as Older American's Month, last week’s blog was about the limited oversight and often poor care older adults receive from Homecare agencies.
It was based on, and brought to light by, my friend after she had a horrible experience with her father’s care from the local companion agency she hired.
With fingers blistered from endless phone calls, and knuckles bare from the countless doors she knocked upon, after the 4 exhaustive years of advocacy, phone calls, letter writing, knocking on every door of every agency and every lawmaker she could find in the state of CT, she successfully formed a coalition of community and thought leaders, advocates, politicians, and family members.
As a result of the intensive advocacy, the Connecticut legislature formed a Home Companion Task Force aimed at looking into the Department of Consumer Protection’s oversight into this industry. The feeling was that the Department of Consumer Protection was too lenient and did not have the ability to properly regulate the industry and adequately enforce regulations.
There has been an approximate increase of 137% in the number of CT home companion agencies in 10 years. In 2012, there were 380 agencies with 1 full time investigator in the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) dedicated to oversight for these agencies. In 2022, there were 903 agencies; the DCP had only increased their full-time investigator staff to two persons. This is insufficient and places our seniors at great risk.
As a result of that investigation, a bill padded out of committee that would mandate a plan to be submitted to transfer the jurisdiction of CT's home companion agencies from the Department of Consumer Protection to the Department of Health. This would provide proper training for home companion workers, expertise for caring for the most vulnerable older adults, and oversight for home care agencies.
This Week that bill based both the CT House and Senate UNANIMOUSLYY, representing a major step forward in the commitment to ensuring older adults
receive dignity, respect, and quality care.
I am beyond proud of my friend, an inspiration and an example that one person, committed and undeterred, can make a difference. Up until now my friend prefers to remain under the radar. I hope she changes her mind in this regard. She is both an example and an inspiration.
Thank You my friend, for your passion, commitment, courage and strength in light of insurmountable odds.
Though it took the unfortunate and painful father’s experience, as we approach Father’s Day 2023, I’m sure he would be proud of what you accomplished on his behalf.
For more information on finding the best care solutions for your loved one, and how to become the most informed and effective advocate for your loved one’s care, email: firstname.lastname@example.org