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Friday, April 15, 2011 - 5:50am

Assisted Living Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

A bill that would allow the elderly to remain in assisted living centers heads to Governor Nathan Deal for his signature.

Under current Georgia law, seniors are sometimes moved to nursing homes when they are no longer mobile or can't take their medications. The measure would allow asisted living facililties to provide some services that nursing homes provide. If signed by Gov. Deal, the bill will set up procedures for licensing this new form of long-term care provider. Rep. Ann Purcell said it's taken 16 years to find a way to allow seniors to live independently longer.

"Now we do have a distinctive level of care. Personal care homes, nursing homes, and now, with this bill , assisted living communities. Seniors have an additional care level that will allow them to age in place."

Supporters say the bill helps Georgia prepare for the mass retirement of the baby boomer generation.