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New Assisted Living Regulations Do Little to Protect Consumers
Date:8/11/2008

ving regulations to the Department of Public Welfare, Division of Long Term Care Client Services, Attention Gail Weidman, P. O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105. Persons with a disability may use the AT&T Relay Service, (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).

"Consumers must make themselves heard on this issue," Halperin said. "About 50,000 people currently live in facilities that may call themselves assisted living facilities. They are our mothers, our husbands, grandparents and our friends. The regulations must protect them and give their families confidence that their loved ones are well cared for. And, the public must speak out to make sure the final regulations do just this."

PALCA was formed this year to make sure that new licensing rules would protect elderly and disabled residents. The Pennsylvania Health Law Project is primarily using operating support from The Pew Charitable Trusts to fund the campaign.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly last year passed a bill to license the fast-growing assisted living industry. The regulations being developed will set the standards that these facilities must meet. Until now, state regulations have lumped assisted living facilities together with a wide range of homes for Pennsylvania's elderly and individuals with disabilities.

Some other ways in which the proposed regulations fall short include:

-- They propose far too few staff members on duty to meet residents needs.

-- They allow resident living space that is far too small. -- They omit essential residents' rights that should be afforded to all consumers.

-- They provide consumers with no right to challenge a facilities decision to kick them out.

-- They make no requirement for all hallways and common areas to be wheelchair accessible.

-- They take away a residents' right to continue to use or otherwise choose their own healthcare providers, such as their doctor or psychiatrist.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Assisted Living Consumer Alliance
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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