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.

 

President Trump wants to give the American people additional COVID relief and stimulus checks. Speaking with reporters, Trump blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding up the process. The President said she is only interested in bailing out Democrat-run states.       Former President Barack Obama is in Florida campaigning for Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. Speaking at a drive-up rally in Orlando, Obama said his former VP will lead the U.S. out of "these dark times." He accused Trump of turning his own White House into a COVID hotspot and ripped his handling of the pandemic.       Voters in battleground Wisconsin will have to have their ballots in by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. The Supreme Court is refusing to extend the deadline after Democrats wanted an extra six days to count ballots postmarked by November 3rd. They blamed the pandemic for making it harder to send and receive ballots on time.       The Supreme Court will consider whether they want to take up a case involving an abortion law in Mississippi on Friday. Mississippi's Attorney General wants the high court to take a look at a decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court ruled the state law banning almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy interferes with a woman's right to have an abortion.       The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is partnering with Google to predict the weather. The tech company will use artificial intelligence to help with forecasts. The effort will initially focus on smaller artificial intelligence efforts before moving on from there.        It's looking like Guitar Center may have to file for bankruptcy. The New York Times reports the company missed a 45-million-dollar interest payment this month. They made two-point-three-billion-dollars this fiscal year, but still owe one-point-three-billion-dollars.