Governor signs assisted living bill

Gov. Nathan Deal gave elderly Georgians more options for care Wednesday when he signed Senate Bill 178.

The bill, which creates an "assisted living" designation in state law for the first time, will help seniors stay in assisted living homes instead of being forced into nursing homes when they become frail.

The assisted living facilities, which must have 25 beds or more, could have medication aides on staff who could give residents pills and insulin shots. That was not allowed in the past. The new law will also allow residents to stay in assisted living even if they need help getting around, as long as the facility has enough staff to keep its residents safe during a fire or other emergency.

Advocates for the elderly have pushed for the law for 16 years.

“For many years, my wife, Sandra, and I cared for our parents in our home and we know firsthand the challenges families face with aging relatives,” Deal said during a ceremony in Milledgeville. “I fully support these efforts to enhance access and quality of services available in our communities that provide Georgia’s seniors with better choices for their care.”

About the Author

Editors' Picks