COLUMBUS – State Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) today announced the Ohio House has passed House Bill 120, the Compassionate Caregiver’s Act.
The bill outlines criteria for compassionate care visits in order to allow family members access to their loved ones in long-term care facilities. These circumstances include but are not limited to situations in which residents demonstrate behavioral changes due to emotional distress from isolation and end of life circumstances.
House Bill 120 also requires facilities to communicate the right of residents and families to seek assistance in gaining access to a facility through the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
“The toll, challenges, and difficulties brought on by COVID-19 have been painful for so many Ohioans. This bill began with concerns raised by residents within my district who explained the depression, weight loss, decrease in cognitive function, and loss of will to live within long-term care facilities. I also heard from many family members expressing helplessness and a desire to impact the quality of life of their loved ones,” said Richardson “House Bill 120 supports the emotional health of our seniors and families, and I am very thankful the Ohio House passed this important legislation today.”
Under the bill, caregivers must meet certain health and safety requirements, including screening for COVID-19 symptoms and wearing personal protective equipment. In addition, long-term care facilities are required to develop and implement a visitation policy regulating compassionate care visits.
The Ohio Assisted Living Facility, Ohio Health Care Association, Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice, and other organizations have voiced their support for H.B. 120.
The Compassionate Caregivers Act now heads to the Senate for consideration.