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Substitute House Bill No. 6851

Public Act No. 05-155

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DUTIES OF A CONSERVATOR WHO PLACES A WARD IN AN INSTITUTION FOR LONG-TERM CARE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 45a-656 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) The conservator of the person shall have: (1) The duty and responsibility for the general custody of the respondent; (2) the power to establish his or her place of abode within the state; (3) the power to give consent for his or her medical or other professional care, counsel, treatment or service; (4) the duty to provide for the care, comfort and maintenance of the ward; (5) the duty to take reasonable care of the respondent's personal effects; and (6) the duty to report at least annually to the probate court which appointed the conservator regarding the condition of the respondent. The preceding duties, responsibilities and powers shall be carried out within the limitations of the resources available to the ward, either through [his] the ward's own estate or through private or public assistance.

(b) The conservator of the person shall not have the power or authority to cause the respondent to be committed to any institution for the treatment of the mentally ill except under the provisions of sections 17a-75 to 17a-83, inclusive, 17a-456 to 17a-484, inclusive, 17a-495 to 17a-528, inclusive, 17a-540 to 17a-550, inclusive, 17a-560 to 17a-576, inclusive, 17a-615 to 17a-618, inclusive, and 17a-621 to 17a-664, inclusive, and chapter 359.

(c) (1) If the conservator of the person determines it is necessary to cause the ward to be placed in an institution for long-term care, the conservator may make such placement after the conservator files a report of such intended placement with the probate court that appointed the conservator, except that if the placement results from the ward's discharge from a hospital or if irreparable injury to the mental or physical health or financial or legal affairs of the ward would result from filing the report before making such placement, the conservator shall make the placement before filing the report provided the conservator (A) files the report not later than five days after making such placement, and (B) includes in the report a statement as to the hospital discharge or a description of the irreparable injury that the placement averted.

(2) The report shall set forth the basis for the conservator's determination, what community resources have been considered to avoid the placement, and the reasons why the ward's physical, mental and psychosocial needs cannot be met in a less restrictive and more integrated setting. Such community resources include, but are not limited to, resources provided by the area agencies on aging, the Department of Social Services, the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Mental Retardation, any center for independent living, as defined in section 17b-613, any residential care home or any congregate or subsidized housing. The conservator shall give notice of the placement and a copy of such report to the ward and any other interested parties as determined by the court.

(3) Upon the request of the ward or such interested party, the court shall hold a hearing on the report and placement not later than thirty days after the date of the request. The court may also, in its discretion, hold a hearing on the report and placement in any case where no request is made for a hearing. If the court, after such hearing, determines that the ward's physical, mental and psychosocial needs can be met in a less restrictive and more integrated setting within the limitations of the resources available to the ward, either through the ward's own estate or through private or public assistance, the court shall order that the ward be placed and maintained in such setting.

(4) For purposes of this subsection, an "institution for long-term care" means a facility that has been federally certified as a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility.

Approved June 24, 2005