BINGHAMTON, NY – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is leading an effort to change rules for any future pandemics so that residents in long-term care facilities are not completely separated from their loved ones.
Tenney held a roundtable at the Greater Binghamton Chamber to hear the experiences of local residents.
She says the denial of visitation rights left many residents confused and alone.
Tenney has introduced the Essential Caregivers Act to ensure some amount of family visitation in nursing homes should another pandemic arise.
“Studies show almost 60% of people who have an essential caregiver working with them or designated with them on a daily basis show dramatic increases in the ability to thrive and also the ability to live longer and also recover from what they may be struggling with,” says Tenney.
One member of today’s roundtable, Kat Stevens, lost her grandfather on December 14th.
He was living in a nursing home in Cortland.
“Suddenly when he’s dead, now we have the freedom to touch and to hold and to hug. Why not when he was alive and needed us the most?” says Stevens.
Stevens says she used to care for her grandfather everyday, and when he was in the nursing home the only way she could see him was through a window.
She says her grandfather didn’t understand why he couldn’t see anyone.
This Caregivers Act is designed to make sure caregivers will always be able to have access to their loved ones in a safe and healthy manner.