Governor Announces Expansion Of Connecticut Home Care Program For Adults With Disabilities - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

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Governor Announces Expansion Of Connecticut Home Care Program For Adults With Disabilities

February 6, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the 2014 state budget, including an expansion of the Connecticut Home Care Program for Adults with Disabilities. The expansion is a direct response to the governor’s stated goal of providing home and community based services for Connecticut residents.

“Rarely has a governor been so active and engaged in the lives of people living with the potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis,” said Lisa Gerrol, president and CEO of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “We are truly grateful to have a governor who goes above and beyond to help ensure quality care, independence and dedicated support for people in our state living with MS and other potentially debilitating illnesses.”

In 2007, the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, lobbied for and helped design the Connecticut Home Care Program for Adults with Disabilities (CHCPAD), a pilot program that provides home-based services to people age 18–64 with degenerative neurological conditions who are at risk of being institutionalized in nursing homes.

The program has been maintained in the state budget for seven years, even when many programs were eliminated. Governor Malloy has included CHCPAD in each of his proposed budgets, previously serving 50 individuals throughout the state including those with multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

Last year, $720,000 in the state budget was allocated to the CHCPAD. Today’s budget expands the programs funding to $1.2 million, doubling the number of Connecticut residents served.

“The Connecticut Home Care Program for Adults with Disabilities currently has a waiting list of 103 people and the approximate wait time from application to enrollment is three years,” commented Lynette Coleman, associate vice president of the Connecticut Chapter’s programs and services department. “With the budget’s expansion, time spent on the waiting list will be dramatically reduced and we will be able to get even more people the assistance they need.”

The average yearly cost of home care for individuals on the program is $16,000 compared to a cost of $72,000 per year if the individual were to be on Medicaid and living in a nursing home. The program then offers a $56,000 savings per person per year for a total of more than $2.8 million annually.

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with the effects of multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. The cause is unknown, and, and there currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

The Connecticut Chapter has been collaborating with Governor Malloy and his administration since he was elected in the fall of 2010. As a result, new measures have gone far to raise awareness about MS and improve quality of life for those in our state battling this chronic and potentially debilitating illness.

“This program provides many benefits to the families and the community, including the ability to keep younger adults in their homes and out of nursing homes and keeping families together,” said Gerrol. “At the National MS Society, we are fully dedicated to helping people live life as fully as possible, even in the face of this potentially debilitating disease. With the governor’s help, this program will help Connecticut residents take one more step in that direction.”

For more information, contact the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, at

860.913.2550 or email programs@ctfightsms.org.

2/6/14

About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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