GV advances new senior facility rules | TheUnion.com

GV advances new senior facility rules

The Grass Valley City Council Tuesday sent a proposed ordinance that places new restrictions on elder-care facilities to the Planning Commission for review.

The draft ordinance requires facilities with more than seven residents to have emergency generators, and to hire enough staff to help residents off the floor at all times to reduce calls to the fire department.

In addition, future facilities with more than 30 units should also offer transportation for more than 30 hours a week and offer 20 percent of all units to poorer residents, the proposed ordinance says.

Jackie Newby, an ombudsman for seniors who works for the state, raised the red flag to city officials after discovering that Highgate Retirement Village on Sierra College Drive did not have a back-up generator. Highgate now has an emergency generator, she said. Newby said she was “delighted” the city is addressing the issue.

Julie Reaney, a private consultant on Alzheimer’s disease, said she supports the proposed ordinance, but urged the city to carefully look at the wording before approving it.

Don Martin, executive director of Gold Country Telecare Inc., said he supports the proposed ordinance. Ten years ago, Telecare provided 15,000 rides a year to the frail and elderly, but now provides 60,000 rides a year.

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