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Al Norman steps down from Home Care post

GREENFIELD — Al Norman of Greenfield has stepped down from his post as executive director of Mass. Home Care after 31 years.

As the head of the coalition of home care agencies in the state, Norman has been an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities who wish to live at home, since 1986.

Norman, who headed Franklin County Home Care Corp. — now known as Lifepath — from 1980 through 1986, said his resignation from the nonprofit advocacy organization representing 29 home-care agencies came because of “the difficult state environment,” but declined to elaborate.

The Grinnell Street resident, best known for his national campaign in opposition to Wal-Mart, said he has future work projects in mind and intends to keep writing.

At Home Care, Norman advocated for added state funding for the state’s program to keep seniors and the disabled in the least restrictive environment where they could remain as highly functioning as possible for as long as possible.


He is the author of the Aging Services Access Points law and the Equal Choice civil rights law, or Olmstead law, which created the Long Term Care Options counseling program for people considering a nursing home.

Norman also helped negotiate the Enhanced Community Options program and the Community Choices project in the Medicaid budget, together providing more than $160 million for seniors at imminent risk of nursing home care.

Norman helped create the 1-800 AGE INFO phone line, and helped create a plan for a new level of adult family care in the state, to allow family members to become paid caregivers for relatives. In 2007, he helped create a project to provide seniors with 24-7 supports with services for up to four seniors in each ranch-style home.

He was a founder of the Massachusetts Money Management Program in 1991 to help seniors with difficulty managing their household budgets.

Before working in the home-care field for 37 years, Norman was assistant director of what is now Community Action — the Franklin Community Action Corp., as well as a legislative aide to Rep. William Benson, D-Greenfield.

Before moving to Greenfield, he was a reporter for Newsweek.

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