Sen. Eric P. Lesser visited the home of Longmeadow resident Maurice Cotton Nov. 16 to raise awareness around issues related to home care services for the elderly.
“As the elderly population in our Commonwealth continues to grow, home health clinicians and aides play an important role by helping people remain in the safest and most familiar setting: their own homes,” said Sen. Lesser, who is a member of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Elder Affairs.
In an October op-ed, Sen. Lesser argued for the need to better support senior citizen services, including reimbursement for in-home care, in Western Massachusetts. Improving pay and protections for home healthcare workers, who often receive very low wages and insufficient training, is also an important priority.
“It’s our solemn obligation to ensure that all members of our community age with dignity. Everyone has a role to play, including our policy-makers at the State House,” he wrote.
Nationally, more than 11 million Americans receive home health care, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. In Massachusetts, roughly 23,000 people receive home health services through the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program, also known as MassHealth, and more than 110,000 receive services reimbursed through Medicare.