Navigation Links
Proposed Assisted Living Regulations Would Allow Facilities to Rent Inaccessible Rooms to Persons Who Use Wheelchairs or Walkers

Consumer coalition calls for quality standards to protect Pennsylvania

families from inadequate regulations

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's proposed assisted living regulations would allow facilities to rent rooms to residents that do not meet current safety standards and are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs or walkers.

While new assisted living construction would be required to comply with state minimum standards or practices, as well as federal accessibility requirements, existing facilities would be exempt under the Department of Public Welfare's new proposed Assisted Living regulations. Available data from 1999 showed that at any one time no less than 21 percent of Assisted Living Residents rely on wheelchairs and 44 percent of Assisted Living Residents rely on walkers.

"These proposed rules make absolutely no sense," said Robert Meek, managing attorney from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. "Why would anyone want to jeopardize the safety and care of residents who are elderly or have disabilities? Assisted living is designed for some of our most vulnerable citizens who need to a safe place to call home. Many of them rely on a walker and/or a wheelchair to get around. They shouldn't be shoehorned into a box."

The Pennsylvania Assisted Living Consumer Alliance (PALCA) advocates that these facilities should provide at least 250 square feet of living space, excluding the closets and bathrooms. Other government agencies, including the Philadelphia Housing Authority and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, recommend that living units should be no smaller than that size.

PALCA formed this year to ensure that new licensing rules will protect residents who are elderly and who have disabilities. About 50,000 people in Pennsylvania currently live in facilities that may call themselves assisted living facilities. Assisted living has emerged in the past generation to house people who are not so sick that they require a nursing home. However, residents generally need more help with bathing, dressing, medication management and other basic care needs.

Under proposed rules, residents could wind up living in a space of only 175 square feet. By comparison, hotel rooms average 325 square feet and single bedroom apartments typically include a bedroom between 250 and 500 square feet. Efficiency apartments supported by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency must be at least 400 square feet.

Pennsylvania's proposed assisted living rules also do not address issues concerning older buildings that do not meet current fire or life safety standards. Many of these building were allowed operating licenses years ago and never had to achieve best practice standards for safety or accessibility.

Another short-coming in the proposed regulations is that assisted living facilities could prohibit appropriate service animals from the premises, a violation of federal requirements. Many residents who are blind or who have other disabilities rely on these highly trained animals to help them accomplish basic daily tasks.

"These are not small issues," said Alissa Halperin, Senior Attorney and Deputy Director of Policy Advocacy at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, the organization leading the efforts of the PA Assisted Living Consumer Alliance (PALCA). "We want to preserve quality of life for residents. They need to feel comfortable and cared for and the current regulations don't guarantee that either will happen."

Accessibility is just one weakness in the draft regulations identified by PALCA. Other areas of concern include ensuring adequate staff and administrator training, access to one's own doctor, a responsive appeals' process and sufficient residents' rights.

The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee will hear consumers' stories on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 9:30 a.m. in room 418 in the Main Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

For more information about the regulations, click on

Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Mylan Commences Tender Offers and Consent Solicitations for Its 5.750% Senior Notes Due 2010 and 6.375% Senior Notes Due 2015 in Connection With Its Proposed Acquisition of Mercks Generic Pharmaceutical Business
2. Physician Skin Care Specialist Says Proposed New Rules for Sunscreen Products Will Better Protect the Public
3. Kyphon Announces Special Meeting Date to Vote on Proposed Medtronic Merger
4. Hologic Sets Special Meeting of Stockholders to Vote on Proposed Merger with Cytyc Corporation
5. Microtek Medical Receives Early Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Waiting Period for Its Proposed Acquisition by Ecolab
6. Screening Proposed for Childhood Cholesterol Levels
7. More than 10,000 Medicare Patients in Montana Could Be Hit by Proposed Cuts to Home Oxygen Therapy; Access to Power Wheelchairs Would Also Decrease
8. Pelosi Statement on Proposed Entitlement Task Force
9. Paramount Acquisition Corp. Announces Record Date of October 1, 2007 for Proposed Acquisition of Chem Rx
10. Paramount Acquisition Corp. Files Amendment to Preliminary Proxy Statement for Proposed Acquisition of Chem Rx
11. AARP Calls on State Regulators to Reject Proposed Settlement of TXU Buyout
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Safe storage for contraceptive ... two inventors, one from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, New ... PROTECTOR to save the expense of having to replace NuvaRings more often than necessary. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 28, 2015 , ... There is only ... outperform our billings from last year? , This question has not been an easy ... coming to the retirement age and the younger workforce don’t share the same discipline ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed at which ... age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive conditions ... overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical care occurs ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special ... 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive ... a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... motto of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... conference will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... North Carolina , 26 november 2015 ... Inc. (AAIPharma/CML) kondigt de geplande investering aan ... uitbreiding van de laboratoria en het mondiale ... . De uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra ... wordt voldaan aan de groeiende behoeften van ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met ... kanker. ) ...      (Photo: ) ... Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders ... report to their offering. Boston ... Boston scientific and others. --> ... Biotronik, Boston scientific and others. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: