Over the past couple of years, Georgia's Department of Human Service (DHS) has been implementing new assisted living regulations and rules that were passed by the Georgia State Legislature.
These new regulations and rules outline in greater detail the services that can be offered in different senior housing environments. Senate Bill 178 created a new license for Assisted Living Facilities. Previously all senior living communities and homes fell under one type of license called the Personal Care Home.
Under the new Assisted Living license only facilities with 25 beds or more and only those that meet strict building and fire code can apply. (Note: Many facilities that could get the license are choosing not to do so for a number of reasons.)
The Assisted Living License allows more elders to age in place as opposed to being discharged when they can no longer meet mobility requirements that are stated in the Personal Care Home regulations. If an elder lives in a licensed Assisted Living Facility then he or she can live there as long as they want to without fear of being discharged for being bed bound.
Previously if a resident became "non-ambulatory or bed bound" meaning the person was unable to self-propel in a wheelchair or walk with a walker just a little bit then the home or facility would have to apply for a waiver or an exemption from the State to allow the resident to age in place. Many waivers are approved for the Personal Care Home but just as many are denied. Typically waivers are denied because the personal care home or personal care facility cannot safely evacuated multiple bed bound residents in cases of emergency. If the waiver is denied to the Personal Care Home then the resident is discharged to a Skilled Nursing Facility or back with family.
In addition to the new Assisted Living License the Personal Care Home Regulations have been revamped clarifying what is expected from each home caring for elders and the disabled. The updated Personal Care Home regulations set forth clearly what services can and cannot be provided in the home as well as the paperwork and documentation needed to provide all type of care from personal care to memory care.
A much needed addition to our Assisted Living and Personal Care Home regulation are the newly implemented Proxy Caregiver Rules. These rules allow Assisted Living and Personal Care Home to provide care that in the past the resident was expected to do for himself or herself such as administer insulin or health maintenance services to a colostomy or catheter and that for any number of reasons the resident is no longer able to perform the task. In these cases, the elder or his POA can designate a Proxy Caregiver, who is properly trained to do so, to provide this service.
If you have questions regarding the assisted living regulations and which option may be best for your particular case please call Assisted Living Locators at 404-921-0064, we will be glad to help.