Assemblymember Bronson Passes Bill to Allow Family Caregivers to Visit Nursing Home Residents

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester) announced that a bill he sponsored to allow personal caregiver and short-term compassionate care visitors at nursing homes and residential health care facilities passed the Assembly (A.1052-B).

“My bill would authorize families to designate up to 2 caregivers to visit loved ones and assist in their care, said Assemblymember Harry Bronson. “It would direct the respective commissioner to develop a process to allow for visitation of residents in nursing homes and adult care facilities by the designated caregivers, and for compassionate care visitations. The bill will also expand the definition of “compassionate care visitation” from strictly end-of-life situations to other cases where a decline in physical, mental or emotional wellbeing requires needed attention from family.”

The legislation provides for up to two personal caregiving visitors that will be exempt from general prohibitions of visitation; although the bill would require safety procedures and protocols at a minimum of those required of staff in order to protect the health and welfare of residents, their visitors, and staff.

“This bill addresses that issue through a safeguarded process to allow family members and caregivers to once again visit their loved ones,” continued Bronson. “During our Nursing Home hearings last year, we heard from many people who testified that this restriction effectively banned visitation in many nursing homes and the resulting isolation led to a decline in the physical and mental health of residents in these facilities. This bill is intended to reunite families that have for far too long been separated from their loved ones in nursing homes.”

 Although the state recently set forth visitation restrictions, it’s become abundantly clear that they are woefully inadequate to meet the need to have family visitations and we need this legislation in place to ensure the separation of the last year never happens again. This bill will help us better prepare for future emergencies by allowing caregivers to visit their loved ones, provide them with essential care and advocate for their needs.