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Death at Assisted Living Facility Points to Desperate Need for Better Regulations from the State
Date:6/22/2009

ave made it mandatory for a pet-groomer to have several hundred hours of supervised training before being able to cut a dog's hair. Yet the Commonwealth has yet to require staff providing direct care at an assisted-living facility to have basic first-aid training. Therein, those working at Cambridge would have been taught what to do with someone having first-, second- or third-degree burns.

Mr. Myers life can no longer be saved, but his tragedy must bring into focus what needs to be done, especially as the baby boomers ages and more and more assisted-living facilities will no doubt be coming on line quickly.

"The days of denial about abuse and neglect that so many of our loved ones endure in assisted-living facilities in Pennsylvania must stop now," said Halperin. "Too many Pennsylvanians have suffered needlessly and died prematurely because our state lacks adequate protections for residents of assisted-living facilities."

Pennsylvania needs strong regulations that clearly establish residents rights and assurances that they can be exercised without retaliation, that clearly define what services will be provided to each resident based on his or her individualized care needs, that assure residents are cared for by adequate amounts of well trained staff, and that set life and fire safety standards at the national levels recommended for assisted living.

This issue could not be more timely. This summer Pennsylvania is finalizing its first ever regulations for assisted living. The final regulations will either go far enough to ensure that our loved ones can be safely served in a facility that is capable of supporting their needs and choices or they are weak enough to guarantee that tragedies like the Ron Myer's scalding will continue in perpetuity.

PA Assisted Living Consumer Alliance (PALCA) urges all residents - and certainly all legislators and officials - to visit its Website ('/>"/>

SOURCE PA Assisted Living Consumer Alliance
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