Provide compassionate caregivers rights to visit residents in long-term care facilities.

Provide compassionate caregivers rights to visit residents in long-term care facilities.

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Eddie Stacey started this petition to United States Supreme Court and

The world as we know it has seen a lot of change and uncertainty recently. However, the most certain thing about life as we all know it to be, is that it all ends in death, regardless of the means by which we reach that certain outcome (i.e. car crash, lightning strike, drowning, cancer, heart attack, etc.).

Terminal illnesses such as cancer, and life-threatening injuries rank highest amongst those reasons most commonly recognized. With that being said, millions of people in this world currently reside within a facility to provide long-term healthcare for them during these difficult times of their lives; some of which have hours, days, or months only left to live.

In this petition, I am asking that Compassionate Caregivers be allowed visitation rights to the family and friends that are residents of long-term health care facilities. House Bill 120 of the 134th General Assembly should be made permanent law. It should not have an end date, dependent on only the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, or December 31, 2021, whichever comes first.

This bill should remain in effect indefinitely, providing the opportunity to visit those individuals on a consistent and necessary basis, providing that all personal protection methods are followed during times of a pandemic. Also, provided that all other rules and regulations of the facility itself are followed by said individual(s). 

Furthermore, the amount of time allowed to be spent with the resident should be somewhat fluid, within reason, as long as the visitor(s) follows all other protocols and regulations set forth. Normal visiting hours at these facilities should be allowed from 8a-8p everyday. After-hours visiting should be allowed if determined by the resident's primary care physician to be necessary, and/or during a time of medical emergency.

As humans, the most sacred of "medicines" that can help to ease the pain for these residents that are putting up the good fight, is love, compassion, and human interaction. It lifts their spirits and gives them something to look forward to and fight for. Even during a pandemic, those to be found stuck in any one of a million gloomy scenarios, should not be left to fight alone, without family and friends by their side.

COVID-19 has taught us a lot about personal hygiene and keeping our distance at times. However, it should not be the reason that someone has to be alone as they are struggling to overcome illness, life-threatening injury and/or death. It should not keep someone from being able to put a smile on a loved one's face during those last moments; or to allow an individual to show care, love and compassion with just a simple face-to-face conversation while being inside the same room.

My family has directly been impacted by this, and so have those families of a few of my close friends. It's heartbreaking to be a part of; to witness. It's even more frustrating to know that this forced separation could be an avoidable situation; yet nothing has changed thus far. 

My mother-in-law has been in a room at one of these facilities for the last 4-5 months fighting her strongest fight ever against Small Cell Cancer. When she was diagnosed we were told she had 3-6 months to live. Just a few short hallways away in the same facility, my Uncle lies in a bed as a paraplegic for nearly 36 years. My Aunt took up Nursing as her career simply to learn how to care for him.

For 35 of those 36 years, my family has been able to visit my Uncle without issue. This daily interaction and care provided to him by my family is the only reason he is still alive. Without it, he too was only given a few short months to live; and if left only to the minimal care provided by the facility, he would not have made it this long. As a baby; and even moreso as I developed into young adulthood, I spent a lot of time in that room. This focused and consistent interaction directly provided my Uncle a type of mental recovery that could only be provided by a close family member or friend; not someone in a white coat or scrubs. It provided him stability like that of a more normal life that he once had before his accident. Furthermore, it created a positive environment that he could be comfortable in. Even though it wasn't words telling you that he was, it was his body language that told you so, since he cannot speak.

My mother-in-law enjoys her grandchildren and children very much. Not being able to see them has introduced a strong depression into her life that she did not have before her diagnosis. Her eating habits lack consistency. Her hydration methods lack consistency. Her basic personal hygiene lacks consistency. Her sleep patterns are highly inconsistent. Her physical movement(s) and uplifting smile are being overtaken by the shadows of that dark room where she receives the minimal care needed to "keep her alive and comfortable." Without human interaction from a loved one, she is highly miserable and it is obviously seen wearing on her face and withering body.

She loves bird watching, dancing to oldies music, playing video games, and putting puzzles together just to name a few. But the lack of human interaction from her loved ones has her sleeping away what little bit of life she has left. Her mental health is depleting because she is not being provided the proper cognitive stimulation that she needs to help her to recover and keep up the good fight. Family visitations can help this.

I've known her longer than I've known my wife. She's watched me grow up since I was 12 years old and I would do anything for her; and not being able to even say "hi" to her in the same room, breaks me down. Watching my children show her pictures they drew for her, while standing outside of a window breaks my heart. Watching my wife and sister-in-law get turned away at the door as they hold a bag of her favorite lunch and a small gift from home, makes me want to scream at facility management for their lack of common sense and compassion for the value of human life. 

Please join me in signing this petition. Stand beside your loved ones that are fighting so hard to live, but not to die alone! Stand up for what is right because we know it's right; but even moreso because we know that having our loved ones being left segregated to fight these fights alone is just wrong, immoral, and highly unethical. Sign the petition because you want to help bring positivity, smiles, and love to this world, and help us all remember the value of life. God Bless you all, be safe and be blessed!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!