Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Florida law allows retirement communities to aid seniors still in their homes By LIZ FREEMAN


 — Some seniors are caught between their past and their futures.

Legislation passed by Florida lawmakers during the recent session could offer some remedy.

The legislation addresses continuing care retirement communities and would allow these retirement communities to offer “memberships” to seniors for various services while they still live in their private residences.

State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, was one of the House sponsors.

“This gives the (continuing care retirement community) the ability to provide services to people who want to live off-campus,” she said. “A lot of people can’t sell their home and they are stuck.”

The legislation enables seniors to become part of a retirement community before they have the need to move on the campus, she said. The membership can involve such services as use of wellness programs, the dining room and at-home health care, she said.

A continuing care retirement community involves a full spectrum of living arrangements for seniors who pay an entrance fee and monthly expenses. They initially move into independent living units on the campus while they are still healthy. As their health declines, they receive nursing or other home-health visits, and then move into the assisted living and skilled nursing areas of the retirement community.