A bill that would reform laws regarding assisted living communities in Florida failed to pass through the state’s legislature last week after passing in the state Senate but never gaining support from the state’s house of representatives.
The bill, SB 646, was passed by Florida’s senate in April by a unanimous vote of support, despite its controversial nature.
“I am hugely disappointed,” AARP Florida advocacy manager Jack McRay told the Miami Herald following the bill’s failure to pass in time for the legislative session’s close. “I think that in the next go-around, the Legislature ought to focus more on protecting residents of ALFs than protecting the industry.”
The bill and other measures have been introduced following a Miami Herald investigative report that in 2011 found dozens of instances of abuse and neglect leading to death within Florida’s “assisted living” communities, encompassing communities that care for residents who suffer from mental illness, not solely senior living assisted living providers.
Under the Senate version of the bill, Florida’s assisted living communities that house at least one mental health patient would be subject to special licensing as well as a ratings system and consumer guide for the communities.
The reform has been controversial among providers and senior care advocates, such as AARP, which said it will continue pushing for change.
“…it will be unfortunate if it takes another travesty or travesties to get something done,” AARP’s McRay told the Herald.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker