Sen. Lombardi to introduce bill to give family caregivers access to residents in nursing homes during pandemic

 

STATE HOUSE — As COVID-19 continues to tragically separate nursing home residents from their families, one state senator, Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston), plans to introduce legislation that would give family members access to their loved ones in nursing homes during emergencies such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill would mandate that long-term care facilities establish an Essential Family Caregiver program that would allow a resident to have an essential caregiver designated. The caregiver would be a person such as a family member, outside caregiver, friend, or volunteer who provided regular care and support to the resident prior to the pandemic; and that person would be given more access to the resident on a regular basis to ensure their emotional and physical needs are met.

“It’s a tragedy that nursing home residents — particularly those suffering from dementia — continue to be separated from their families,” said Senator Lombardi. “It’s frustrating and infuriating that the social and psychological well-being of these residents is in jeopardy because they are unable to communicate with those they love. They may be safe from coronavirus, but they’re inflicted with a debilitating loneliness.”

In the legislation Senator Lombardi plans to propose, a person may request to designate more than one essential caregiver based on their past involvement and needs. The bill would require the Department of Health to develop rules and regulations on designating an essential caregiver and the criteria to qualify. 

Seven states, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, South Dakota and Michigan, currently have a variation of such a designation that would allow visitation during COVID-19 restrictions.

 

With less than two weeks to go before the 2020 election, the Director of National Intelligence is warning the public that Iran and Russia are trying to influence the outcome. John Ratcliffe says Iran sent spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters. He said both countries have obtained voter registration information.        Former President Barack Obama is slamming President Trump on his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at a rally in Philadelphia Wednesday, Obama said Trump moaned that the crises made him "go back to work." He added if the President had been doing his job, the country would not be suffering as much.        The weekly report on first-time unemployment claims leads off the morning's economic reports and analysts expect to see the unemployment lines getting longer. They expect to see initial jobless claims increasing to 915-thousand last week.       Massive fires are burning through parts of Colorado as firefighters prepare to deal with high winds making things worse Thursday. The Cameron Peak Fire west of Fort Collins is the largest wildfire in state history. It's been burning since August and is now more than 200-thousand acres.        Pope Francis is making history by supporting civil unions for same-sex couples. He wants laws to protect them, saying they have a right to be part of a family because "They're children of God." He's the first Pope to make such a statement, breaking with Catholic tradition.