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Lawmakers take on ALF reform

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-994212.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Lawmakers want to put a stop to what they say are serious failings of a system meant to protect people who are disabled or suffer from geriatric and mental health issues. Lynn Hatter reports lawmakers are making Assisted Living Facilities a top priority in the upcoming legislative session.

State lawmakers are calling for changes to the way Assisted Living Facilities are run. The focus comes after an investigation earlier in the year by the Miami Herald which outlined abuse and neglect cases. Senate President-designate Don Gaetz says the legislature bears part of the blame for the problems within the facilities.

"We may have, in a zeal to clean up the underbrush of unnecessary regulation, we may have gone too far, and for that, I think we all bear some responsibility."

A workgroup convened to study Assisted Living Facilities has released several recommendations which the legislature may take up. Some ideas include things like imposing a rating system and increasing education and training requirements for administrators and staff.