Legislation to Address Nursing Home Visitation Policies Signed into Law

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) announced that legislation he co-sponsored to help reunite families separated during the ongoing pandemic by expanding nursing home visitation rights has been signed into law (Ch. 89 of 2021). This law will safeguard visitation access at nursing homes and residential health care facilities amidst inconsistent visitation regulations set forth during the public health crisis.

“I have consistently worked with advocates and family members who have shared heartbreaking stories regarding the isolation and extreme loneliness that residents in nursing homes have faced,” Jones said. “In the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, families deserve to be able to see their loved ones in person to ensure their well-being. This law expands the definition of “compassionate care visitation” from strictly end-of-life situations to other cases where a decline in physical, mental or emotional wellbeing requires attention from family. Nursing home residents and their families have been through enough and this law will reunite families and will ensure that the mental and physical well-being of residents is not jeopardized due to isolation in case of any future emergencies.”

This law streamlines guidelines to safely allow personal and compassionate caregiving visitation at nursing homes and adult care facilities, including visits to provide short-term emergency care and end-of-life support or other dire medical circumstances.