With his spouse Mrs. Susan Bembry by his side, The Florida Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (FAHSA) presented State Representative Leonard Bembry (D-Greenville), the association’s “Legislator Of The Year” award during its annual convention in Orlando. House Bill 1037 (HB 1037) unanimously passed the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate during the 2011 Legislative Session, and was later signed by the Governor. This new law provides Florida’s seniors with additional options for care at-home, and creates new, much-needed jobs for more Floridians.
The law allows Florida seniors the opportunity to contract for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) services while still remaining in their home. Due to the slow economy, seniors are not able to sell their homes at a reasonable value to support their lifestyle in the future. Some seniors may want to live in their homes longer and this legislation will allow them to do so by providing supportive services. Continuing care at-home (CCAH) will allow seniors that reside outside the community future access to shelter, nursing care, or personal services at the CCRC until they sell their home or decide to move. The bill will also give seniors the ability to plan for their future.
Representative Leonard Bembry knows how important this issue is to Florida’s seniors. He also has experience with senior issues since his family was involved in building a nursing home many years ago. “This is a win-win for Continuing Care Retirement Communities, their residents, and their future residents. It allows seniors the flexibility to remain in their homes while still being able to participate in community activities and services of a CCRC before they actually move into the facility. The socialization and services these seniors will enjoy will also help reduce costs shared by the residents of the CCRC,” said Bembry.
While the bill was moving though the legislature and Governor’s office it was supported by the Florida Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the Florida Life Care Residents Association and Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation.
“During these extremely challenging economic conditions, our state must find ways to preserve and grow jobs,” said Bembry. “When Janegale Boyd and Tom Randle with the Florida Homes and Services for the Aging brought this legislation to my attention I was anxious to file the bill and get moving.”
The law will add much needed jobs around the state as the CCRC’s increase their staff to meet the needs of these new off-site residents. It will be up to the individual CCRC’s to determine which additional services they will provide.
“FAHSA is proud to present the award to Representative Bembry because, without his leadership and tenacity, we would not have been able to pass this bill in the last 30 days of session” said FAHSA’s President and CEO Janegale Boyd. “I know Representative Bembry felt a strong wave of support for him as over 450 of our members gave him a loud and standing ovation for all of his hard work.”
FAHSA was established in 1963 as a Florida not-for-profit corporation. Its purpose is to provide leadership, advocacy, and education for retirement housing and nursing home communities that serve the needs of Florida’s retirees. FAHSA is committed to assisting its members in providing the highest quality of services possible to the residents they serve. FAHSA is comprised of approximately 500 of the state’s premier elder care organizations and business associates. More than 70,000 elder persons reside in FAHSA-member communities. Thousands more are served through home health services, adult day care centers and other community outreach programs offered by our members.