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⭒ New Developments

Essential Caregivers Act Introduced in Congress

A bipartisan, bicameral group of Congresspeople have introduced bills to allow Essential Caregivers, defined as an individual designated by or on behalf of the resident, who will provide assistance to the resident, “access to long-term facilities to provide assistance with activities of daily living, as appropriate, or to provide emotional support and companionship to a resident during any period [public health emergency] in which regular visitation is restricted.”  The House bill number is H.R. 8331 and the Senate bill number is S.B. 4280.  As stated in an accompanying fact sheet, “during the COVID-19 pandemic, residents in these facilities were separated from their loved ones – far too many lost their will to survive, and many others suffered untold emotional, psychological, and physical pain as a result of this separation.  This bill would ensure that in any future emergency, at least one designated essential caregiver is able to access their loved ones in a manner consistent with all applicable health and safety protocols.”  A similar bill, AB 2075 (Alvarez), co-sponsored by CANHR and the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, is currently in the California State Legislature.