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Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 3:43am

Proposed Nursing Home Rule Draws Critics

Critics are blasting a proposed Georgia rule that would require seniors living in assisted living complexes to show they can leave the building without help during an emergency.

If the rule took effect, those who could not escape under their own power would have to transfer to more-expensive nursing homes.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that roughly 250 people crowded into a meeting Wednesday at the Department of Community Health to speak against the proposal. Opponent Tamara Pirkle of Sandy Springs said staff at her 90-year-old grandmother's assisted living complex are capable of assisting during an emergency.

Doug Colburn, the department's director of health care facility regulation, said the final rule will not push people out of assisted living centers.