Cephas to introduce legislation to protect older Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG, Dec. 16 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced she is introducing legislation designed to protect older Pennsylvanians from abuse while living in assisted living and long-term care facilities.

“No one deserves to be a victim of abuse, and that’s certain for our commonwealth’s aging population,” Cephas said. “Our seniors have worked their entire lives to provide for and raise their families while making significant contributions to their community. They should not be denied the appropriate level of care and compassion that they deserve.”

The two bills, known as the Assisted Living and Long-Term Care Resident Bill of Rights, would explicitly convey the needs and rights of residents, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age or ethnicity, and ensure these needs are met. Some of these needs include mail privacy, access to health care, free from restraints, right to privacy, access to the local ombudsman, and the right to live free from neglect, intimidation and physical or verbal abuse.

“While these things seem to be obvious, abuse against older Pennsylvanians is a far too common reality. More than 18,000 cases of abuse were reported between 2016 and 2017. For people of color and marginalized communities, the magnitudes of abuse are higher,” Cephas said. “My legislation would help address one of the most alarming health concerns impacting Pennsylvania’s rapidly growing older population. This group deserves respect and to receive the best care possible as they continue to live out their lives.”