Legislation to Ensure Safe Visitation and Care of Nursing Home Residents Earns Senate Approval

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today to ensure safe visitation and enhanced care for residents of long-term care facilities, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), who supported the bill.

Senate Bill 1279 would require facilities to designate at least one essential family caregiver per resident that would be permitted to visit and care for a loved one during a disaster emergency. Under the bill, caregivers would be able to remain in contact with family members and provide companionship and assist with activities requiring one-on-one direction.

The approach of the bill mirrors a successful policy in the state of Indiana that allows family members to assist in the care of loved ones, while also providing visitation for high-risk residents.

Many Pennsylvania families faced COVID-19 restrictions that prevented them from visiting loved ones for months – even when all state and federal safety protocols could have been followed.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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