An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (TX only)

Time to Look at Emergency Rules in Long-Term Care Facilities

127 so far! Let’s get to 250 signers!

After a year of isolation protocols in long-term care facilities, five months of expanded visitation guidelines, and exhaustive efforts by Texas HHSC to educate facilities, there is no reason to expect those many hundreds of facilities who still do not follow the guidelines to follow amended or future guidelines. Emergency guidelines for nursing facilities expire March 22 while assisted living facility and intermediate care facility guidelines expire April 13. They cannot continue into perpetuity without an escalation of the mental and emotional collapse we are seeing among long-term care residents, family members, and an overburdened and short-handed long-term care staff. In order to visit a loved one, families are being forced to become experts on these guidelines themselves, attend weekly HHSC webinars, and present provider letters, emergency rules, Covid response plans, screenshots of webinars, and emails from HHSC Long Term Care Regulation to facilities and/or contact an ombudsmen and hope that the facility will not respond with “we must obey corporate” or “we only follow CMS guidelines”, neither of which is a defense with merit. Families cannot understand why, as the vaccine becomes more readily available, tight visitation restrictions will continue to be necessary to keep their loved ones safe. The emergency rules can safely end if facilities continue reasonable infection control precautions. If the rules are extended, renewed, or new ones are put in place, the loss of life in facilities due to extreme weight loss, despondency and rapid cognitive decline will continue and the State of Texas will see a mental health crisis, the likes of which we have not seen before.

First sent on March 1 by Texas Caregivers for Compromise

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