According to reports, the 2017 Texas regular legislative session made vast changes affecting older Texans. Lawmakers approved several top priorities for AARP Texas including bills that, among other things, will protect seniors’ financial future, improve access to health care, and help unpaid family caregivers and their families.
Also included was major nursing home quality reforms that seek to hold operators of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities more accountable when they have been found to have done harm to their residents.
AARP Reports indicated that bill sent to the governor include ones that would:
- Strengthen nursing home oversight and accountability to better protect the state’s 93,000 nursing home residents;
- Expand rights for Texas’ 3.4 million unpaid family caregivers, assuring they’ll be able to properly care for their loved ones when they return home from the hospital;
- Help fight elder financial exploitation by making it easier to stop fraudulent bank transactions before it’s too late;
- Provide comfort to families by clarifying powers of attorney and guardianships;
- Bolster consumers’ power to prevent and challenge surprise medical bills; and
- Improve access to medical providers through “telehealth, ” allowing patients to meet with physicians via smartphone, tablet or computer.