Thanks to our community efforts and the efforts of many people and groups, especially our senior centers, the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget responded to our top three priorities:
We also achieved passage of our top non-budget priority- enabling legislation for an Individual Provider (IP) program that would allow persons eligible for Medicaid-funded homecare to hire their own personal care workers via a registry maintained by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). This was a major victory, taking the first step toward achieving a program that has made a huge difference in “rebalancing” long-term care in many other states (Blazejewski and Goodwin, sponsors).
We are very grateful to Governor Gina Raimondo, and especially to Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello for fulfilling their commitments made at our March Legislative Leaders Forum.
On May 8, over 100 people came out from all over the state (including Block Island!) to honor three accomplished individuals who have done great work toward improving the quality of life of older Rhode Islanders. The honorees were: Kathy McKeon, Cy O’Neil, and Linda Katz.
Kathy McKeon is the Supervisor of Catholic Social Services of RI, and has been a long-time leader in promoting innovation in respite care for caregivers. Cy O’Neil is a founder and the Past President of The Providence Village, a model nonprofit community-based network of support to seniors who wish to remain in their own homes and communities as they age. Linda Katz is the co-founder and current Policy Director of the Economic Progress Institute, an expert source for information on budget and policy issues impacting older Rhode Islanders.
We are very grateful to our Presenting Sponsor Neighborhood Health Plan of RI. We thank our Collaborating Sponsors Catholic Social Services of RI and United Healthcare, and Supporting Sponsors Healthcentric Advisors, St. Elizabeth Community and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for their generous participation in this event.
Volunteers Anne Mulhall, Joan Flynn, and Michael Moore helped pull it all together for us.
We thank you all!
Honoree Kathy McKeon speaking about the Carebreaks and other programs at Catholic Social Services.
On March 6, 386 seniors from all over the state crowded into the Grand Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza to weigh in on legislative issues for 2018. The Senior Agenda's priorities for the year are, in order:
Community members spoke eloquently about their personal experiences with senior centers and caregiving challenges.
Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President
Dominick Ruggerio pledged their support for RIPTA No-Fare bus pass and senior center funding.
John Grimes spoke about the importance of respite care for caregivers.
Members of the Leon Mathieu Senior Center in Pawtucket.
Members of the Cranston Senior Center with Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President
Karen Mensel spoke about expanding Temporary Caregiver Insurance.
From left, Representative Deb Ruggiero and Maureen Maigret listen to presentations.
The Senior Agenda Coalition is grateful to all those who helped make this important forum possible. Co-sponsors include: Age-Friendly RI, Alzheimer's Association of RI, Cranston Senior Center, Cumberland Senior Center, Johnston Senior Center, Leading Age-RI, Leon Mathieu Senior Center, RI Organizing Project, RI Partnership for Home Care, RI Senior Center Directors Association, S.A.G.E. - RI,Scituate Senior Center, SEIU 1199 New England, Smithfield Senior Center, St. Martin dePorres Senior Center, Tamarisk Assisted Living, and West Warwick Senior Center.
We thank our volunteer greeter Anne Mulhall, and Susan E. Bouchard who provided photography services. We appreciate you all!