An Essential Care Visitor is a Family Caregiver, a partner in care with a nursing facility who directly cares for their loved one in collaboration with the resident's interdisciplinary care team in a long term care facility. Sometimes, an Essential Care Visitor feeds their loved one and assists with their Activities of Daily Living. Other times, the Essential Care Visitor executes integral parts of the medical and clinical care tasks that
Insurance / Medicaid / Medicare does not cover in the institution ~
or that staff cannot get to because of systemic staffing shortages.
Essential Care Visitors might spend 1-7 hours a day in a nursing facility. Often, they interact with their Loved Ones' resident mates, and provide social and emotional nourishment for other Facility residents too. Essential Care Visitors are family members, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, hired one to ones from an agency, mothers, daughters. We roughly estimate essential care visitors are about 10-`20% of the visitor population in a residential facility. Pre-pandemic, these essential care visitors provided integral care support sustaining a resident's life. As visitation is now open, we are receiving surveys that the 10-20% visitation of the Essential Caregiver remains consistent with our advocacy that the
Essential Care Visitor represents 10-20% of a congregate care setting population.
With Federal Visitation Mandates open in long term care - our Facilities are experiencing this percentage rates.
Essential Care Visitors are an Essential Part of the Care for a Vulnerable Total Care Resident. Not everyone has an Essential Care Visitor. However, the spirit of an Essential Care Visitor is such, that often the care visitor has a mindful watch on other residents, oversight and voice within the
long term care community,
We dreamed of a day when the Essential Care Visitor check box is on the Nursing Facility Admission Paperwork and Resident Chart has a space for the name of a Resident's Essential (Personal Care Giver) Visitor. As of March 29, 2021 - in New York State - each Resident is regulated to have
(2) Personal Caregivers listed by their name in their chart. Dreams come true and our day ARRIVED!!!
Essential Care Visitors save lives, falls, illness and provide preventive care with in partnership with the care staff in Nursing Facilities.
The current New York State Personal Caregiver Bill was passed on the State Legislature Floor, both through the Senate on February 22, 2021
and the Assembly on March 2, 2021.
The Personal Caregiver Bill was signed into New York State Public Health Law on March 29, 2021.
This unprecedented Bill will help Family Caregivers now and in the future,
to be never locked out again. Our Loved Ones will not needlessly suffer from being kept from receiving their bridge~care.
There is an ADDENDUM
to the Personal Caregiver Bill that needs passed in our
New York State Legislature so that our Essential Care Visitor can continue to serve their loved ones
in collaborative care models for our vulnerable in long term care facilities.
Understand visitation guidance and mandates will vary state to state and facility to facility. The variance has to do with COVID-19 infection rates, each State Level Visitation mandates and each Nursing Home's Administration practices.
The CMS came out with updated guidelines in March, 2021, and each State now has to develop their guidelines to be congruent with the Federal CMS recommendations.
New York State finally updated their Nursing Home Visitation guidelines as of July 8, 2021.
On November 12, 2021 ~ based on the Federal Resident's Rights Law to be able to receive their visitor of their choice - CMS updated their Visitation Guidance to include Visitors at ALL times for ALL Residents. Our New York State Department of Health on November 16, 2021 issued a DAL to order the visitation practice to be congruent with CMS - which essentially orders New York State to abide by Federal.
Should you have any questions about these Visitation Guidance and need help with your Family Visitation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you!
For the past two years, the New York State Facilities would cite that their entity was bound to State Guidance - not Federal. And, now, after the long advocacy - the State has clearly directed entities to follow Federal. So, this entire time - why have the Facilities not followed the Federal when unclear in their regulatory practice?