NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation sponsored by State Senator Rachel May that aims to improve oversight and care at nursing homes.
“This is a great step forward for the health and well-being of nursing home residents now and in any future pandemics,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “AARP New York thanks Senator May for her leadership and advocacy in guiding this bill though the legislative process to make sure family and caregivers have the right to visit loved ones safely during a state of emergency.”
“On behalf of the many callers to our Patients’ Rights Helpline who have shared their outrage about nursing home and assisted living residents living in isolation during the past year, we thank Senator May for championing their rights and recognizing the need for essential visitors,” said Maria Alvarez, Executive Director, New York StateWide Senior Action Council. “Senator May took a proactive interest in our case calls last Spring, spearheaded work by the Senate to hold hearings last Summer, and consistently called on the Governor to immediately open visitation to offset declines in the quality of care. This new law ensures that New Yorkers will never again be deprived of the caring eyes and hands of an essential visitor.”
“I have heard over and over from distraught family members in my district about the toll the visitation ban in nursing homes has taken on their loved ones,” said Senator Rachel May. “The Department of Health recently expanded visitation significantly, bringing an end to the deadly isolation impacting thousands of seniors across our state. But one of the lessons of this pandemic is that we must never again close the doors and lock the windows to keep families apart. This bill will make sure that such isolation never happens again. I am grateful to Assembly Member Harry Bronson for joining me in this work, to the leadership in my chamber for understanding just how important this bill is, and to the many advocates who have constantly and courageously demanded that we end this deadly isolation.”