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State holds Summit on Aging in Southington, seeks to offer more resources to seniors

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SOUTHINGTON — Elder and disability care providers launched a new website that is designed to be a one-stop shop for resources in the state.

Gov. Ned Lamont spoke about the efforts at a conference Monday hosted by AgingCT, a partnership of five regional agencies on aging.

The website, www.agingct.org, was just launched and resource providers are still being added to it.

“People don’t know where to turn when they need help,” said Marie Allen, CEO of the Southwestern Agency on Aging. The non-profit is one of the five agencies that launched the website.

Monday’s conference held at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington included representatives of area hospitals, elder law experts, homecare companies and accountants. Allen said there’s a host of needs for someone who’s either aging or disabled to stay in their home or preferred living situation.

“We tried to bring everyone together,” she said.

Keeping Connecticut a home

Lamont addressed the loss of retired people as well as young people to other states such as Delaware and Florida. Letting older and disabled residents know about the available resources is a way to keep them near families and in their homes.

“We want to make sure that Connecticut is a place you call home, your grandchildren call home,” Lamont told conference attendees Monday. “I want to make sure everyone you’re taking care of knows these resources are available.”

Lamont said the state government was working to make the state more affordable and to increase affordable housing options for senior citizens and the disabled.

“We’re going to have a few thousand new units that are affordable, accessible for seniors built over the next few years alone,” he said.

Lamont joked about his own age, saying he turned 70 in a few months. Several times he drew comparisons between Connecticut and Florida.

“I hope people love the state of Connecticut,” he said. “Florida’s got a hurricane, we’ve got some sunshine. I’m feeling pretty good.”

Bringing together providers

Amy Porter, commissioner of the state Department of Aging and Disability Services, said the goal of Monday’s conference was to help make Connecticut “a place to grow up and grow old.”

“Our resource system can be a little difficult to navigate,” Porter said. Aging Answers, the website and effort launched recently, helps bring together resources from various areas and presents a common message to those looking for help to stay or live in a community of their choice.

“We are encouraged to work together to break down barriers to make sure we’re looking at things from a person-centered perspective and not from an agency-centered perspective,” Porter said.

jbuchanan@record-journal.com203-317-2230Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


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