AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
October 6, 2020
They’ve Been Locked in and Family Locked Out for Six Month – Hope May be on the Horizon!
For six months those living in nursing homes have been without contact with family, except seeing family members through nursing home windows, doing Facetime or talking to them on the phone. Their primary advocates have been banned from being their advocates! Many nursing home residents do not understand what is going on and even those who do understand have been negatively impacted. No contact with family has led to their physical and mental conditions worsening during this time period. Family members have continued to fight the government’s restrictive mandates in order to see their loved ones.
On September 3rd a group of State Senate Republicans introduced the Essential Family Caregiver Designation Act – SB 1279 It would allow an immediate family member or a caregiver of the resident who is not employed by a facility and is over 18 and who had regularly engaged with a resident at least once a week prior to COVID restrictions to be designated an “Essential Family Caregiver.” If the facility is able to follow all necessary safety precautions, they would be allowed to designate “at least one essential family caregiver per resident to provide companionship and assist with activities requiring one-on-one direction.”
SB 1279 was voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday with all committee Democrats except Pam Iovino voting ‘no’! It now is back before the full Senate.
Of Pennsylvania’s 8,244 COVID deaths, 5,497 were in long term care facilities! They all died while family members were barred by the state from entering those facilities. This is outrageous! And let’s not forget that Secretary of Health Dr. “Rachel” Levine moved his mother from a York County nursing home before issuing the lockdown order!
Contact Senate Pro-Temp Joe Scarnati and ask him to move SB 1279 forward for a vote. His number is 717-787-7084 or 814-265-2030.
Also, contact Majority Leader Jake Corman at 717-787-1377 or 814-355-0477 asking him to move SB 1279 forward.
Contact your State Senator and ask him or her to vote ‘yea’ on SB 1279, when it comes before the Senate for a vote.