Senate OKs Goodwin’s bill to create Aging and Disability Resource Center
STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin to create an office within state government to help connect Rhode Islanders with helpful resources for long-term care.
The legislation (2018-S 2551) would establish the Rhode Island Aging and Disability Resource Center within the Department of Human Services’ Division of Elderly Affairs, as part of the Rhode Island system of long-term care for older adults, those with disabilities, family caregivers and providers.
The resource center would assist Rhode Islanders and their families in making informed choices and decisions about long-term service and support options and streamline access to long-term supports for older adults, persons with disabilities, family caregivers and providers. Services that the center would provide include a toll-free information number, a comprehensive database of information on available public and private long-term support and service programs, and counseling to assist individuals in crafting long-term care plans for themselves and family members.
“Families can be overwhelmed when faced with the need to find long-term care for a loved one who needs more care than can be provided independently or by family members. On top of the emotional toll that decision takes, the expense is tremendous, and it’s very difficult to navigate the maze of public and private options for funding it,” said Senator Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence). “A central state office that can advise people on their options and the best ways they can pay for them would help families get the care their loved ones need using all the available funding sources, so they can best protect their families’ assets.”
The bill is a top priority for the Senior Agenda Coalition, which is dedicated to improving the lives of older Rhode Islanders.
“The Senior Agenda Coalition is very pleased that the Rhode Island Senate has passed S2551, legislation calling for major improvements to Rhode Island’s Aging and Disability Resource Center known as ‘The Point,’” said William F. Flynn, Jr., Senior Agenda Coalition executive director. “We thank Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin for being the primary sponsor of this bill, a top priority for us as we promote ‘aging in the community’ for seniors. It will benefit adult children as they care for aging parents, and will help all seniors as they seek reliable information and advice about available services in both the private and public sector. We believe this investment will be is the single most important component of a higher-quality system of elder care in our state.”
The legislation, which is cosponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), now goes to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) is sponsoring companion legislation (2018-H 7172).
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903