Baltimore health department seeks oversight of assisted-living facilities

March 31, 1998|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Department of Health is petitioning state officials to allow it to monitor and inspect the growing number of assisted-living facilities in the city.

Maryland has more than 3,000 board and care homes for residents with chronic illnesses, including 1,000 in Baltimore. Under state law, a boarding or care facility must register and pay a $25 fee. No inspections are performed.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Peter L. Beilenson said the growth of facilities requires the city to gain authority from the state to check the homes more closely.

"This method of overseeing board and care facilities in Maryland has produced a network of unregulated facilities," Beilenson said. "Currently, anyone can submit an application and pay $25 to receive a certificate that entitles them to open a property and take in the chronically ill and disabled."

City Councilman Robert Curran of the 3rd District is asking colleagues to support Beilenson's effort. Curran said he has noticed a boom in assisted-care facilities in Northeast Baltimore, his section of the city.

"We have some that are good, and I know we have some that are not quite up to snuff," Curran said. "A true test of our society is how we take care of our young and how we take care of our elderly."

Curran is asking the council to pass a resolution supporting Beilenson's efforts.

Councilman Melvin L. Stukes of the 6th District introduced a bill last night that would require a vicious or dangerous animal to be enclosed by a fence at least 8 feet high.

Stukes made the recommendation after receiving numerous complaints from constituents about dangerous animals roaming their neighborhoods.

Pub Date: 3/31/98

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