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General Assembly faces assisted living issue in final hours of session

May 11, 2006
By: Hillari Duthoo
State Capital Bureau

Legislation on assisted living facilities is on its way to becoming law in a little over 24 hours.

Hillari Duthoo (DOO-thoh) has that story from the state Capitol.

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While Kansas City area Senator Bill Stouffer says Missouri has some of the most stringent laws regarding assisted living facilities, he says more can be done to make seniors living in them safer.

Currently, if a resident can not meet "pathway to safety" requirements and exit the building during a drill in a certain amount of time, that resident could face eviction from the facility.

Supporters say that moving an elderly resident from these places not only leaves them in more danger at home, but it also disrupts their environment.

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"If you move them out because of 'pathway to safety', then they're locked into an alzheimer's unit and they don't understand why they're locked in or what they've done wrong, and they basically go downhill very quickly because they never re-orient themselves."

Stouffer says he expects the governor to sign the bill into law before the end of the legislative session on Friday.

From Jefferson City, I'm Hillari Duthoo.