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Republicans and Democrats call for essential support for caregivers

WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) – Representative Claudia Tenney (RN.Y.) and other lawmakers at home say residents of long-term care facilities should never be completely cut off from their loved ones.

“A lot of them are isolated in these care facilities,” Tenney said.

The Essential Caregivers Act would allow residents to designate essential caregivers who could continue to provide support, even during a public health emergency. At the height of the pandemic, caregivers could not be present because their loved ones died in isolation.

“When you see those heartbreaking photos of family members looking through windows, their loved ones, who are all alone, in a room and in some cases just can’t understand what’s going on,” Tenney said.

“They haven’t been able to provide this personal family visit,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.)

Spanberger says the bill puts the concerns of caregivers first.

“We look to the future in the event of a new emergency,” said Spanberger.

The bill guarantees the necessary access to caregivers while maintaining safety standards and protocols in the facilities.

“We don’t know what we’re getting, which is why these precautions are there,” Tenney said.

And they say the key now is not to let history repeat itself.

“It’s about learning from what has happened in the past, recognizing that we never want to see a repeat of the circumstances of 2020, for so many reasons,” Spanberger said.

Both Tenney and Spanberger are hoping this bill will progress by the end of 2022.


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