|March 19, 2018 03:31 PM
|Representative Eli Evankovich and Rep. George Dunbar, Rep. Eric R. Nelson
|All House members
|Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act
|We recently had an incident in Westmoreland County at one of our Continuing Care Retirement Communities. These communities are private-owned campuses which offer a multitude of living options for seniors and offer them a safe community to age in place. Most offer the gamut of services, including private apartments, home care, personal care homes, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities.
It was brought to our attention that a state agency interpreted a current law and gained access to the private apartments on the campus. They proceeded to interview the residents, deemed them unfit to live alone due to the need for assistance with minor activities of daily living like having groceries delivered, a daughter help with finances and a spouse assisting with daily medications. Following the audit, the facility owner was fined, issued a cease and desist order and every resident interviewed was suggested to move into another wing of the facility which result in a considerably higher cost to the constituent. The residents were not advised their informal answers could be used against them to impact their living situation or that they could decline to participate in the audit.
To us, it seems like a violation of privacy for the older adults who chose to live out their lives in a planned aging community which suites their needs. One of the many amenities of living in a CCRC is the oversight, assistance and well-ness checks done by dedicated staff members and other residents. After months of talks to resolve the matter, we decided to introduce legislation to ensure these residents can live freely in their apartments on these monitored campuses without fear of inspection from state agencies unless there is a reason to suspect abuse or serious neglect.
The primary goal of this bill is to allow seniors the opportunity to live in conditions that are both more comfortable and inclusive of daily activities, while at the same time preserving their health and welfare.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB2291