McKnight's Senior Living Follows up on our Legislative Progress with House Joint Resolution No. 118

Lois Bowers of McKnight's Senior Living first reported on Diane's Story in February 2017, after the arbitration decision, and followed up with Jacqueline after learning of the Legislative progress Diane's Representatives have made with the introduction of House Joint Resolution 118.

The study is needed because independent living communities increasingly are providing healthcare services to residents through third parties and “are sometimes providing services to residents that are substantially similar to the care provided in assisted living facilities,” according to House Joint Resolution 118, sponsored by Delegate Robert Bell, a Republican, and Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Democrat.

Delegate Bell and Senator Deeds introduce Joint Resolution 118 - Requesting the Department of Social Services to study regulation of independent living communities

Since arbitration ended, the family has been working to change the criminal and civil laws of Virginia. Meetings occurred with: the General Assembly representatives for Diane’s district, Robert Bell and Creigh Deeds, General Assembly representatives for Jacqueline’s district, Robert Bell and David Toscano, Albemarle County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office, Robert Tracci, and the Office Of The Virginia Attorney General, Chief Section Counsel, Steven Buck.  

Robert Bell and Creigh Deeds have now proposed House Joint Resolution No. 118 for the 2018 General Assembly, which requests a study by the Department of Social Services "regarding potential regulations and oversight may help to ensure that residents of such independent living communities are adequately protected" in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Please reach out to your Representatives to voice your support for this resolution - you can find info to contact your Representatives using the Who's My Legislator tool.

Steven Buck and his task force are currently drafting legislation to criminalize acts or omissions that lead to elder abuse and/or neglect like that which Diane suffered, and we will continue to update as this effort makes progress.

We are hopeful that our voices are being heard and Virginia will lead the way towards reform of the independent living industry and in the protection of the elderly.