State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Proposed rules for "in between" senior centers

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 10, 2013 11:01 PM

A state lawmaker is trying to carve out a niche in Pennsylvania for senior centers that offer a middle range of care.

Across the commonwealth, senior care during the day ranges from centers that provide activities for fully mobile people, to adult day centers, which serve those with brain syndromes and dementia-related diseases. But no framework exists for something in between, which is what Republican Representative Chris Ross of Chester County seeks to remedy.

"We've found sort of a crack in the system between a simple senior center and the more fully regulated, more expensive, and more extensive care that you get in an adult day center," Ross said.

He is proposing regulations for centers to provide activities for seniors who can do most things on their own, but may need light supervision. The plan is based on a pilot program in Chester County. Proposed rules would allow such programs to spread throughout the state - and make sure they're not serving seniors who need greater care.

Pennsylvania has 52 largely county-based agencies on aging, which supervise the programs providing mid-level senior care. The programs themselves would be run by senior centers or private businesses.

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