AARP Pennsylvania Applauds Approval of Assisted Living Legislation

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HARRISBURG, Pa., July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AARP Pennsylvania today praised the state’s General Assembly for approving Senate Bill 704, which for the first time defines and establishes assisted living as a separate form of long-term care in Pennsylvania. The bill, which passed the full Senate this afternoon, now goes to Governor Rendell for his signature.

“According to an AARP study, 95% of older Pennsylvanians prefer alternatives to nursing home placements,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Dick Chevrefils. “Assisted living represents an invaluable option for many individuals who can’t live at home anymore, but don’t require round the clock health care services.”

Chevrefils thanked Rendell administration officials for working with State Senator Pat Vance and State Representatives Phyllis Mundy and Katharine Watson on the legislation that will define and regulate assisted living under Pennsylvania law.

“Pennsylvanians deserve to have assisted living officially added to the list of long-term care services available in the Commonwealth,” he said. “We are pleased our leaders approved a law that provides consumer-directed care, allows independence, and permits individuals to remain in assisted living residences as their health changes.”

Chevrefils said national research shows assisted living facilities charge between one-half and two-thirds of the cost of daily skilled nursing care, which will help older Pennsylvanians stay off Medicaid rolls longer. In addition, legally defining assisted living makes the state eligible for federal programs that provide financial assistance to assisted living residents, enabling those individuals to further delay moving to a more costly nursing home environment.

“Although some individuals will always need the 24 hour care provided by nursing homes, approval of assisted living legislation keeps Pennsylvania moving toward a long-term care system that better balances institutional care with home and community programs,” he said. “In the end, that’s the type of long-term care system older Pennsylvanians want and our state can best afford.”

AARP has over 1.8 million members in Pennsylvania. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products and services for our members.

Contact: Steve Gardner, AARP Pennsylvania (717) 237-6481 [email protected] AARP Pennsylvania

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