Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says a bi-partisan bill (S.614) to allow visitation by family members and others at nursing homes and residential care facilities in order to provide compassionate care and support to residents, has been signed into law.
This bill, co-sponsored by Senator Gallivan, directs the Department of Health to develop regulations to allow personal care giving visitation for routine and compassionate care and support by family members and legal guardians of residents of nursing homes and other residential health care facilities.
“I have heard from so many constituents who tell me the strict ban on outside visitation at nursing homes has been a hardship for them and their loved ones," Senator Gallivan said. "While the lockdown helped to limit the spread of Covid-19 among nursing home residents, the long-term, forced isolation has had detrimental consequences. Families provide compassion, emotional support, routine care and assist with feeding, dressing and other essential activities. The rules should allow for certain exemptions so that limited personal care visits can occur to help support the physical and mental health of residents in nursing homes and adult care facilities."
The Department of Health would limit visitation and establish safety protocols for such visitors. Compassionate care would include support for residents facing end-of-life care or significant physical, mental or social decline.
In many cases, nursing home staff are stretched thin and family members have helped to augment the care and support provided by nurses and aides. The pandemic and the ban on outside visitation has made the situation worse. Allowing exemptions for personal care visitors is crucial to the wellbeing of nursing home residents.
The legislation was approved by the Senate and Assembly earlier this month.