Long-term care facilities often have regular visitors, mostly family members who visit daily to provide emotional comfort.
These moments of comfort are marked by holding hands, combing hair, or making sure that the patients are eating.
Nursing Homes Devoid Of Essential Caregivers During The Covid-19
However, owing to the pandemic ongoing since last year, such visits have been hindered.
Concerns about the loved ones.
The family members who regularly visit the healthcare facilities to provide for their loved ones are under growing concerns that the patients there are suffering in loneliness.
Such caregivers turned to the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to express their concerns and stir up a movement to address the issue.
In New York, Illinois, and California, the movement spread across the states. Advocates and federal lawmakers took up the effort to formulate and implement a law that will allow access to personal caregivers to visit healthcare facilities even during pandemics.
Email blasts, rallies, and traveling yard signs were used in largescale to give momentum to the initiative.
This influenced the states like New York, Arkansas, and many others to pass a caregiving bill this spring-summer that will give the permit to the caregivers.
The grim reality.
According to state Rep. Julie Mayberry, a Republican Legislator, most of the elderly patients who were admitted to medical facilities during the pandemic had lost hope.
Mayberry had also sponsored the No Patient Left Alone Act in the state of Arkansas in March.
Mayberry further implies that seemingly more people could have been saved if there were provisions of their caregivers visiting them and providing mental and emotional support.
Basics of the bill.
The fundamental structure of the bills remains the same even as they are adopted by varying names across the states.
According to the bill, the long-term patients at the medical facilities will be authorized to have at least one personal caregiver to visit them even during clinical emergencies like ongoing pandemics.
However, the visiting caregivers will be mandated to follow safety protocols like the staff of such medical facilities that include screening and sanitization and wearing of masks.
Impact of the bill.
For someone like Marcella Goheen, an advocate, who had her husband admitted to a Nursing home in Manhattan, the bill comes with security that ensures protection to some extent which was unavailable before.
California has a population of 85,000 people residing in 12,000 specialty nursing homes, and an estimated 195,000 patients living in other healthcare facilities.
Although there is no resistance to proposed caregiver bills, the lawmakers are in favor of such bills as it would improve the quality of life for the residents of such medical facilities and introduce better government supervision over such healthcare institutions.
What it means for long-term patients.
Long-term patients at nursing homes and medical facilities often struggle with personal hygiene and weight loss issues.
For someone like Melody Taylor Stark, seeing her husband, a retired dentist with unkempt hair and nails is a tragic outcome. Bills like this provide a sense of security for her as it ensures staying connected with her husband.
However, there are concerns regarding opening up the meeting channel for caregivers during pandemics.
According to experts, like the spokesperson of the California Association for Healthcare Facilities, it will further increase the chances of infection, safety for the caregivers, the nursing home staff, and the patients, as well as ensuring proper training for the caregivers.
For people like Stark, she believes that a lot of important times have been lost in the implementation of such bills that could have been used to provide care and comfort to the loved ones.