Corbett signs Ross senior care respite bill


State Rep. Chris Ross (R-158), left, and State Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-26) with Gov. Tom Corbett following the governor’s signing of a bill to license facilities for senior citizen respite care. Ross sponsored the bill and Hennessey is the chair of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee.

HARRISBURG — At a Capitol bill signing ceremony last week, Gov. Tom Corbett signed legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris Ross (R-158) that will establish a licensing program for community respite services.  Act 166 of 2014 will make it easier for senior citizens to receive appropriate transitional care as they age and will enable them to receive only the care they need – saving them money.

Ross noted that 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.  

Respite care is designed to support the independence of older 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.

To be eligible for respite care, a participant:

• Must be 60 years of age or older and able to express critical needs.
• Must be able to engage in social and leisure activities with others.
• May exhibit mild cognitive impairment.
• Does not present a risk of wandering, beyond gentle redirection.
• Does not require assistance with medication or personal care.

Under Ross’s bill 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.


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