Granny Snatching: Connecticut’s State Sen. Edith Prague Back at Work for Elderly!

A minor stroke on Christmas day hasn’t seemed to slow State Sen. Edith Prague D-Columbia even a half step.

She returned to the state Capitol  in late January,  went right back to work and says  she’ll be running for another term!

“Too many important things are happening, I’ve got to be here,” she told the Hartford Courant.

Prague, 86,  attended a press conference on the issue of home health care options for the elderly and disabled.

State Sen. Edith Prague, New London Day photo

“It is no secret that anybody who needs care wants to be at home to get that care,” Prague said, adding that she’s “living proof” that home care works.

Prague said she suffered a minor stroke on Christmas. “My daughter came over and noticed that the left side of my face didn’t look right,” she said. “There was nothing else. When I got to the hospital, they told me it was a very minor stroke, lucky for me, because strokes can be devastating.”

Prague was admitted to Windham Hospital for a week before being transferred to the Hospital for Special Care.” Prague said she received physical therapy to help her regain her balance and now feels back to normal.
During the press conference Prague said she would like to see changes to a federal program called Money Follows the Person, which is intended to help move out of nursing homes and back to home or community based living.
However, Prague told the CT News Junkie a person has to be a resident of a  nursing home for at least three months before being eligible for the program.

“If Money Follows the Person could be changed so that it applies to people who are in need of 24 hour care, to prevent them from going into the nursing home to begin with, it would make a lot more sense,” she said.

Basic nursing home care in Connecticut now averages about $12,000 per month per patient,

People who need care want to be at home and get better faster when they aren’t in a nursing home, she said. It would also be less costly in the long run, she said.

“The thought of going into a nursing home for any of the disabled folks or for elderly folks is a nightmare. People need to be at home in familiar surroundings and to be in charge of the kind of care that they’re going to receive,” she said.

Prague said getting home care was not a problem for her following her stroke. However, many people and families do not know what options are available to them outside of nursing homes.

So, elder advocates across the state breathed a sigh of relief and Sen. Prague is poised to continue her work on behalf of those who can’t stand up for themselves.  The legislative session formally begins on Feb. 8, 2012.

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