Bipartisan plan implements recommendations of nursing homes task force
State Rep. Julie Calley and the Michigan House this week approved a bipartisan plan to protect seniors in Michigan nursing homes while improving their quality of life.
Calley, of Portland, said the plan implements recommendations made by the Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force, which underscored a variety of deficiencies in ongoing state-mandated nursing home policies. Calley’s focus centered on restoring safe visitation options for families. Under the legislation, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is required to implement visitation policies no later than Nov. 15.
“The prohibitions keeping families from visiting their loved ones in nursing homes has taken a toll on our seniors,” Calley said. “They’ve been isolated and alone too long, and I’ve heard from many people in our community about the detrimental effects this is having on their moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas and other loved ones. This plan will put safe indoor visitation policies into place for the sake of our seniors’ mental and physical wellbeing.”
Additionally, Senate Bill 1094 and House Bill 6137 require health data reporting and a plan to implement greater testing capacity in nursing homes.
Finally, the plan aims to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes by prohibiting the return of COVID-19-positive residents to nursing facilities until they have fully recovered, unless the facility has established a state-approved dedicated area to care for people with the virus.
“The health and mental wellness of our seniors must be a priority,” Calley said. “We can improve the quality of life for our nursing home residents while still protecting them from COVID-19 by following the recommendations of the nursing home task force, which rely on doctors and data. It is my hope that the governor will soon sign this bipartisan solution into law.”
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