Kentucky governor signs essential measure for caregivers

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed a pandemic-related bill allowing designated family and friends to visit residents of long-term care facilities.

The measure won strong bipartisan support as it passed through the legislature.

The bill’s goal is to prevent residents of long-term care facilities from feeling isolated from their families as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. The bill maintains designated in-person visits to these facilities.

Under the bill, residents of long-term care facilities can designate at least one “essential personal care visitor” to conduct in-person visits. Visitors can be parents, legal guardians, friends, caregivers or volunteers. Visitors should follow community or facility safety protocols.

The bill also applies to assisted living communities and mental health hospitals.

During the debate on the bill, Senator Julie Raque Adams said, “Patient care is not just about medical care. As we all know, it’s about taking into account the holistic needs of the individual – their mental, emotional and spiritual needs. Adams was the main sponsor of the measure.

Senator John Schickel called it one of the most important bills lawmakers will tackle this year.

“People in our long-term care facilities and nursing homes over the past year have suffered tremendously,” he said during a debate.

The governor signed the measure on Monday.

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The legislation is Senate Bill 100.

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