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.

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