Senate Approves Legislation Permitting Essential Family Caregiver Nursing Home Visits During Health Emergencies

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Senate approved legislation this week to allow a family member or other designated person to visit and care for a long-term care facility resident during a disaster emergency involving a communicable disease, according to Senator Cris Dush (R-25).

“I voted in favor of this bill because we must act now to ensure that in the future our loved ones are receiving the care and family interaction they need to thrive while living in a long-term care facility,” Senator Dush said. “For more than a year, I have been hearing from constituents who want to be able to provide care to a loved one, given certain regulations and guidelines for the safety of all involved.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents of such facilities have been denied the ability to see and receive care from their loved ones, causing unnecessary trauma.

Senate Bill 190 allows long-term care facilities to designate Essential Family Caregivers for regular visits.  A participating facility must follow necessary health precautions outlined by federal and state governments.

The legislation covers long-term nursing facilities, hospices, assisted living residences, personal care homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability.

This bill would not change the visitation procedures already in place. It adds an element of caregiving which was previously unavailable during the pandemic. Senate Bill 190 will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Zack Ankeny

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