§ 42-66-4. Duties of the division.
(a) The division 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 ensure 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)(1) The division 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 division 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 division 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 that 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 division, 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 that 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, that affect the full and fair utilization of community resources for programs for elderly persons, and initiate programs that will help ensure 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 daycare 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 office of healthy aging;
(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, including, but not limited to, and subject to available funding, a web-based caregiver support information center;
(19) [As amended by P.L. 2019, ch. 110, § 2]. To establish and operate, in collaboration with the departments of behavioral health, developmental disabilities and hospitals; human services; and children youth and families regular community agencies supporting caregivers, a statewide family-caregiver support association and a family-caregiver resource network to provide and coordinate family-caregiver training and support services to include counseling and elder caregiver respite services, which shall be subject to available funding, and include home health/homemaker care, adult day services, assisted living, and nursing facility care; and
(19) [As amended by P.L. 2019, ch. 130, § 2]. To establish and operate, in collaboration with the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals; the department of human services; the department of children, youth and families, and community agencies supporting caregivers, a statewide family-caregiver support association and a family-caregiver resource network to provide and coordinate family-caregiver training and support services to include counseling and caregiver respite services, which shall be subject to available funding, and include home health/homemaker care, adult day services, assisted living, and nursing facility care; and
(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 division, 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; P.L. 2018, ch. 159, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 208, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 110, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 130, § 2.)