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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 19, 2019 01:43 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Improving Quality of Life in Nursing Homes
More than 80,000 Pennsylvanians reside in nursing homes. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is tasked with ensuring that these facilities are operating within state and federal standards, most of which deal with the most basic of needs, such as medical, safety, staffing and cleanliness.

One piece that is glaringly absent from any regulation is the need for an environment which feels like home, is comfortable for all residents and provides care that is unique to each individual. Studies show that residents in facilities which adopt such practices experience greater control and independence, lower feelings of boredom and helplessness, and higher overall satisfaction.

My bill would address this by creating a voluntary Culture and Quality of Life Certification Program within the Department of Health. The certification would be awarded to facilities, through an application process, that demonstrate efforts to create a home-like environment and cultural opportunities for residents.

Pennsylvania currently ranks 4th among all states in the percentage of adults 65 and older and 85 and older, an aging population that is expected to continue to grow. With that increase, there will be an increased demand for services and care for this population. We must begin to recognize this cultural shift in our elderly population and work to ensure that the highest quality of care will be available to them in their twilight years.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this very important piece of legislation. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

Introduced as HB1287