Raimondo announces senior care seminar series

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The first in a series of senior care seminars Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced last month is scheduled for June 14 at South Kingstown Senior Center, part of an effort to transform the state’s long-term care system in the face of a growing senior population.

Raimondo announced the series on caring for seniors and Rhode Islanders with disabilities at PACE Rhode Island in Woonsocket May 25.

According to recent estimates, by 2030, one out of every four residents will be 65 or older. Many of Rhode Island’s seniors receive services through the state’s long-term care system. Many Rhode Islanders with disabilities are also served by the system, which has historically been focused on institutional care. The state has begun to shift toward a community-based model during the last three years, closing sheltered workshops and group homes and increasing support for senior centers, community meal programs and other supportive services.

Raimondo is launching a multiphased effort to encourage Rhode Islanders’ help in designing the system of the future, putting people first and including diverse services and support. The June 14 seminar will begin the first phase of the plan. Input from the sessions will guide development of formal work groups later this year and a vision for long-term services in Rhode Island.

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“Our goal is to be there for Rhode Islanders when they need us; that is our mission every day,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Eric J. Beane. “We don’t do it alone. Community advocates, caregivers and our partners in government and industry play important roles in promoting quality care and helping people to live rich, fulfilling lives.”

“We are committed to ensuring that elders and individuals with disabilities have an accommodating support system with the ability to remain as independent as they wish,” said Rebecca Boss, director of the R.I. Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. “We want those who need assistance to have easy access to direct support workers, transportation and community-based supports to live their best life.”

The South Kingstown seminar will be held Thursday, June 14, at 11 a.m. at the South Kingstown Senior Center, 25 St. Dominic Road.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.