Founders’ Cottage, a Norwalk respite center that gives families who care for adult children with developmental disabilities an occasional break, is closing next month, and its loss taps into a deeper frustration over years of cuts to services and a shortage of residential placements for people with developmental disabilities.
Along with sponsor AARP, The Connecticut Mirror hosts its third Google Hangout of the 2015 Connecticut legislative session to discuss caregiving. Joining host and Mirror Health Care Reporter Arielle Levin Becker are Rep. Catherine Abercrombie (D), Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R), and Claudio W. Gualtieri, associate state director, advocacy, AARP Connecticut.
Sen. Dante Bartolomeo drove her grandmother home from the hospital last summer thinking she was prepared to continue providing her care. But when she drove into the garage and tried to help her grandmother use her walker, she realized there was a problem: No one at the hospital had mentioned that her grandmother was no longer able to walk.
Connecticut is old and getting older. One in seven residents is 75 or older, and the 65-plus population is projected to grow by 64 percent by 2030. Caring for an aging population was the topic Thursday of a Google Hangout, a conversation with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Sen. Joe Markley and Elaine Ryan of AARP.
Connecticut officials describe it as the “silver tsunami:” The state’s population of seniors is forecast to rise dramatically in the next decade, while the working-age population declines. That’s expected to bring a growth in the need for caregivers — both people who take care of others professionally and those who do it free, out of love or obligation, for friends or family members.