Senate Aging Committee Affirms Importance of Consumer Choice, Flexibility in Assisted Living

Assisted Living Federation Announces Model State Act



Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Assisted Living Federation of America

    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Assisted Living Federation
 of America (ALFA) joined the Senate Special Committee on Aging at a hearing to
 discuss the ongoing evolution of assisted living and the important role that
 it plays in the continuum of care for the nation's elderly.
     "ALFA was pleased to hear that our ongoing initiatives leading the way to
 enhance quality of care and consumer understanding of assisted living are
 right in line with the focus of the committee," said Karen Wayne,
 President/CEO of ALFA after the hearing.
     Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on
 Aging, applauded the assisted living model as an appropriate alternative that
 offers many benefits to senior citizens, including his own family. "My inlaws
 are currently living in an assisted living community. I am grateful they live
 in a good environment and  receive quality care. The goal of this hearing is
 to make sure all residents receive high levels of care," he said.
     During the hearing, committee members agreed that the integrity of the
 assisted living model needs to be maintained where consumers have choice and
 flexibility in their day to day lives and affirmed the industry's long-time
 assertion that each consumer deserves individual choice. "I don't think we
 need to set up a sort of one-size-fits-all model," said Senator Ron Wyden
 (D-OR).
     In his opening remarks, Wyden expressed support for the development of a
 model state act to provide a baseline of consumer protections.  At the same
 time, the Senator reiterated that he felt Congress should be cautious to avoid
 making the same regulatory mistakes that were made in nursing homes.
     A model state act is exactly what ALFA has been pursuing as part of its
 "Informed Choice" campaign, as ALFA representative, Margaret Thompson of
 Thompson-White Associates, outlined in her testimony to the committee.
 Through its "Informed Choice" campaign, ALFA has developed a model disclosure
 act to be utilized by states as they revise their regulations. In addition,
 ALFA is identifying some of the best existing state regulations from across
 the U.S. to be introduced as "best practices" guidelines at its upcoming
 summit of state regulators later this year.
     ALFA's goal through these initiatives is to bring about a better
 understanding of the assisted living model and more consistency in disclosure
 and regulations without restricting senior's right to make their own lifestyle
 choices.  "All 50 states regulate assisted living. ALFA is partnering with the
 states to bring about better understanding of the model," Thompson said.
     In addition to disclosure and best practices for states, ALFA's Informed
 Choice campaign addresses key areas such as affordability; training and
 certification; medications management; and staffing.
     "We were pleased by the level of the committee members' understanding of
 our model and we will continue to work with them to address our mutual goals,"
 said Wayne.
 
     The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) represents 7,000 for-
 profit and not-for-profit providers of assisted living, continuing care
 retirement communities, independent living and other forms of housing and
 services.
     Assisted living residences offer a unique combination of housing, 24-hour
 personalized assistance and access to healthcare in a homelike setting for the
 frail elderly and others who need help with activities of daily living, such
 as bathing, dressing and medication management. ALFA members embrace a 10-
 point philosophy of care promoting residents' independence and choice in their
 day-to-day lives.
 
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SOURCE Assisted Living Federation of America
    WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Assisted Living Federation
 of America (ALFA) joined the Senate Special Committee on Aging at a hearing to
 discuss the ongoing evolution of assisted living and the important role that
 it plays in the continuum of care for the nation's elderly.
     "ALFA was pleased to hear that our ongoing initiatives leading the way to
 enhance quality of care and consumer understanding of assisted living are
 right in line with the focus of the committee," said Karen Wayne,
 President/CEO of ALFA after the hearing.
     Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on
 Aging, applauded the assisted living model as an appropriate alternative that
 offers many benefits to senior citizens, including his own family. "My inlaws
 are currently living in an assisted living community. I am grateful they live
 in a good environment and  receive quality care. The goal of this hearing is
 to make sure all residents receive high levels of care," he said.
     During the hearing, committee members agreed that the integrity of the
 assisted living model needs to be maintained where consumers have choice and
 flexibility in their day to day lives and affirmed the industry's long-time
 assertion that each consumer deserves individual choice. "I don't think we
 need to set up a sort of one-size-fits-all model," said Senator Ron Wyden
 (D-OR).
     In his opening remarks, Wyden expressed support for the development of a
 model state act to provide a baseline of consumer protections.  At the same
 time, the Senator reiterated that he felt Congress should be cautious to avoid
 making the same regulatory mistakes that were made in nursing homes.
     A model state act is exactly what ALFA has been pursuing as part of its
 "Informed Choice" campaign, as ALFA representative, Margaret Thompson of
 Thompson-White Associates, outlined in her testimony to the committee.
 Through its "Informed Choice" campaign, ALFA has developed a model disclosure
 act to be utilized by states as they revise their regulations. In addition,
 ALFA is identifying some of the best existing state regulations from across
 the U.S. to be introduced as "best practices" guidelines at its upcoming
 summit of state regulators later this year.
     ALFA's goal through these initiatives is to bring about a better
 understanding of the assisted living model and more consistency in disclosure
 and regulations without restricting senior's right to make their own lifestyle
 choices.  "All 50 states regulate assisted living. ALFA is partnering with the
 states to bring about better understanding of the model," Thompson said.
     In addition to disclosure and best practices for states, ALFA's Informed
 Choice campaign addresses key areas such as affordability; training and
 certification; medications management; and staffing.
     "We were pleased by the level of the committee members' understanding of
 our model and we will continue to work with them to address our mutual goals,"
 said Wayne.
 
     The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) represents 7,000 for-
 profit and not-for-profit providers of assisted living, continuing care
 retirement communities, independent living and other forms of housing and
 services.
     Assisted living residences offer a unique combination of housing, 24-hour
 personalized assistance and access to healthcare in a homelike setting for the
 frail elderly and others who need help with activities of daily living, such
 as bathing, dressing and medication management. ALFA members embrace a 10-
 point philosophy of care promoting residents' independence and choice in their
 day-to-day lives.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X47611688
 
 SOURCE  Assisted Living Federation of America