The Assisted-Living Dilemma U.S. News Online (05/21/01) Vol. 12, No. 23 p.1; Shapiro, Joseph P.
As regulators impose new restrictions on assisted-living,
observers of the long-term care industry question whether this is the
beginning of the end of the alternative living option. Alabama
lawmakers have passed a law that orders the transfer of senior-aged
persons from assisted-living facilities to nursing homes. Legislators
passed the decree after two people with dementia wandered away from the
grounds of their assisted living facilities and died. The rule is
unprecedented and opens the door for other states to adopt similar
legislation. Assisted-living operators believe the law is
unconstitutional because it grants the government authority over
privately run businesses. But Alabama Gov. Donald Siegelman says it
would be negligent for the government to ignore its responsibility to
seniors who choose to stay at assisted living facilities that are unable
to provide appropriate care.