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Chester County Press

Ross bill to license respite care programs on way to Governor

11/06/2014 01:46PM ● By Lev

The state House last week unanimously agreed with Senate amendments on a bill by Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) that would establish a licensing program for community respite services, making it easier for senior citizens to receive appropriate transitional care as they age.

“Respite care offers older Pennsylvanians, who require only minimal care and want to remain in their homes, an alternative to assisted living or nursing home care,” Ross said. “The Kennett Square Senior Center recognized a need for temporary respite services for seniors who were not ready for assisted living or more intensive care, but still require limited assistance. These transitional programs enable seniors to receive only the care they need, saving them money.”

Under House Bill 1702, the Department of Aging will be granted the authority to license and inspect community respite programs in cooperation with the Area Agencies on Aging and representatives of licensed long-term care providers and community senior centers.

Respite care is designed to support the independence of adults. Prior to enrollment in a community respite program, individuals would be evaluated to assess the level of care they need, then ongoing monitoring will ensure they continue to receive the most appropriate care as conditions change.

“This legislation fills a need that is not presently being met,” Ross said. “It will prolong the independence of older Pennsylvanians, enabling them to remain in their homes and giving them greater control over their lives.”

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