§ 42-66-4 Duties of the department. (a) The department shall be the principal agency of the state to mobilize the human, physical, and financial resources available to plan, develop, and implement innovative programs to insure the dignity and independence of elderly persons, including the planning, development, and implementation of a home and long-term care program for the elderly in the communities of the state.
(b) The department shall serve as an advocate for the needs of the adult with a disability as these needs and services overlap the needs and services of elderly persons.
(2) The department shall serve as the state's central agency for the administration and coordination of a long term care entry system, using community-based access points, that will provide the following services related to long term care: information and referral, initial screening for service and benefits eligibility, and a uniform assessment program for state supported long term care.
(3) The department shall investigate reports of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect and shall provide and/or coordinate protective services.
(c) To accomplish these objectives, the director is authorized:
(1) To provide assistance to communities in solving local problems with regard to elderly persons including, but not limited to, problems in identifying and coordinating local resources to serve the needs of elderly persons;
(2) To facilitate communications and the free flow of information between communities and the offices, agencies and employees of the state;
(3) To encourage and assist communities, agencies, and state departments to plan, develop, and implement home and long-term care programs;
(4) To provide and act as a clearinghouse for information, data, and other materials relative to elderly persons;
(5) To initiate and carry out studies and analyses which will aid in solving local, regional, and statewide problems concerning elderly persons;
(6) To coordinate those programs of other state agencies designed to assist in the solution of local, regional, and statewide problems concerning elderly persons;
(7) To advise and inform the governor on the affairs and problems of elderly persons in the state;
(8) To exercise the powers and discharge the duties assigned to the director in the fields of health care, nutrition, homemaker services, geriatric day care, economic opportunity, local and regional planning, transportation, and education and pre-retirement programs;
(9) To further the cooperation of local, state, federal and private agencies and institutions providing for services or having responsibility for elderly persons;
(10) To represent and act on behalf of the state in connection with federal grant programs applicable to programs for elderly persons in the functional areas described in this chapter;
(11) To seek, accept, and otherwise take advantage of all federal aid available to the department, and to assist other agencies of the state, local agencies, and community groups in taking advantage of all federal grants and subventions available for elderly persons and to accept other sources of funds with the approval of the director of administration which shall be deposited as general revenues;
(12) To render advice and assistance to communities and other groups in the preparation and submission of grant applications to state and federal agencies relative to programs for elderly persons;
(13) To review and coordinate those activities of agencies of the state and of any political subdivision of the state at the request of the subdivision, which affect the full and fair utilization of community resources for programs for elderly persons, and initiate programs that will help assure such utilization;
(14) To encourage the formation of councils on aging and to assist local communities in the development of the councils;
(15) To promote, and coordinate day care facilities for the frail elderly who are in need of supportive care and supervision during the daytime;
(16) To provide and coordinate the delivery of in-home services to the elderly, as defined under the rules and regulations adopted by the department of elderly affairs;
(17) To advise and inform the public of the risks of accidental hypothermia;
(18) To establish a clearinghouse for information and education of the elderly citizens of the state;
(19) To establish and operate in collaboration with community and aging service agencies a statewide family-caregiver resource network to provide and coordinate family-caregiver training and support services to include counseling and respite services;
(20) To supervise the citizens' commission for the safety and care of the elderly created pursuant to the provisions of chapter 1.4 of title 12.
(d) In order to assist in the discharge of the duties of the
department, the director may request from any agency of the state information
pertinent to the affairs and problems of elderly persons.
(P.L. 1977, ch. 235, § 2; P.L. 1978, ch. 187, § 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 207, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 132, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 287, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 333, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 305, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 503, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 474, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 242, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 406, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 138, art. 30, § 3; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, § 140; P.L. 1996, ch. 100, art. 45, § 2; P.L. 1998, ch. 93, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 94, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 287, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 389, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 118; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 118; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 24, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 17, § 12; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 5, § 11.)