New Legislation Helps Protect Pennsylvania's Seniors
7/25/2007

Assisted living facilities now subject to more stringent oversight 

State Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks) today announced the enactment of legislation that calls for better oversight and stricter regulation of Pennsylvania’s assisted living facilities. 

“As we and our loved ones age, we come to the realization that we may not be able to continue living independently," Cox said.  “This may mean eventually residing in an assisted living facility or personal care home.  We need to ensure that these facilities are licensed and maintain a healthy, safe living environment." Cox added.  “What I found is that of the more than 1,500 personal care homes in the Commonwealth, an astounding 83 percent are operating without a valid license."   

Under the new law, the Department of Public Welfare will conduct at least one annual onsite unannounced inspection of each personal care home and each assisted living residence. Additional announced or unannounced inspections may be conducted as necessary.  Previously, personal care homes were only required to be inspected once every three years and all inspections were announced and scheduled in advance. 

“Unannounced inspections will give a truer picture of the status of the home’s compliance with the regulations," Cox said.  “We must hold these facilities to the highest standard.  That is why I introduced House Bill 1212, most of which was included as an amendment to Senate Bill 704." 

Personal care homes exist for people who need assistance with activities of daily living but who wish to live as independently as possible.  Approximately 6.5 million people nationwide require assistance with the activities of daily living.  By 2020, this number is expected to double. Of the more than 37,000 licensed assisted living facilities in the United States, three states – Pennsylvania, California and Florida – account for 34 percent of all beds. 

“With the ever-increasing number of Pennsylvania seniors who may come to depend on a personal care facility, I am elated that this legislation was signed into law today," added Cox.  

Contact Representative Cox toll-free at (866) 538-2938 for more information on this legislation, or visit his Web site at RepJimCox.com

Rep. Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(610) 670-0139
(717) 772-2435
Contact:  Joe Pistorio
jpistori@pahousegop.com
(717) 787-2932
Member Site:  RepJimCox.com
Caucus Site:  PAHouseGOP.com