By Mike Dark, CANHR Staff Attorney After a ten-month battle with the most serious public health crisis in the history of long term care in the U.S., the cavalry is finally arriving, in the form of vaccines that have already been given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by regulators. Still more vaccines await in the pipeline, perhaps for January or February.
Latest CANHR Alert
CANHR Zoom Town Halls
On January 15th CANHR hosted a Zoom town hall for California residents of long term care and their families, friends, and advocates to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
Speakers included Dr. Jonathan Evans, Mike Dark and KJ Page. Dr. Evans is the former President of the American Medical Directors Association and addressed the clinical side of the vaccine, including safety and effectiveness. Mike Dark is a staff attorney for CANHR and a member of the California Vaccine Community Advisory Committee. KJ Page is the Administrator of Chaparral House in Berkeley, and spoke about what the rollout of the vaccine at an actual Long Term Care facility has been like.
On October 13th at 11:00am CANHR hosted a town hall for California residents of long term care, their families, and their friends, addressing key developments including voting rights during the pandemic, rights to visit and to exit facilities, and how to craft effective complaints to regulators to safeguard these rights.
Speakers included CANHR Executive Director Pat McGinnis, CANHR staff attorneys Tony Chicotel and Mike Dark, and CANHR Program Director Julie Pollock.
CANHR’s Visitation Rights Fact Sheet
Looking up Facilities Approved for Indoor Visitation
Find your local Ombusdman Program office
California Department of Social Services Public Information Notice regarding Influenza, Pneumonia and COVID-19
California Department of Health All Facilities Letter regarding Influenza
Organizing Family Councils
Hosted by CANHR Senior Attorney Prescott Cole. During this pandemic, scams targeting seniors are increasing at an alarming rate. Criminals have latched onto COVID-19 as a way to steal money from seniors. In this townhall, we go through several scenarios where con artists use COVID as a pretext to defraud seniors, sometimes costing them their life savings. The information in this townhall is meant to help you and your loved ones protect yourselves from the scam artists taking advantage of seniors’ concerns and fears about the COVID-19 virus.
Hosted by CANHR Staff Attorney Tony Chicotel.
Good long term care should not be a casualty of COVID-19; in fact, it has never been more important. But how can residents and their families ensure that good care is being provided when so many rules have been waived and accountability is missing? In this townhall, we reviewed the state of long term care, including visitation, understaffing, and evictions, and then answer questions about the best way to ensure residents are safe and well cared for during the pandemic.
California Department of Social Services COVID-19 in RCFEs Data < – To view RCFE data, go to the link on the right side of the page entitled “COVID-19 Positive Cases in Adult and Senior Care Facilities.”
Latest California State Visitation Guidelines
CANHR has reviewed the various federal and California guidance regarding visitation in long term care facilities and synthesized the rules into a new fact sheet to guide residents and their families. The fact sheet highlights the types of visitation nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly must provide and under what conditions as well as the infection control protocols facilities may impose during visits.
Download the Fact Sheet HERE (PDF)
On June 26, the California Department of Public Health released a new policy regarding visitation that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES nursing homes to permit visitors for outdoor and indoor visits. Facilities MUST permit outdoor visitation unless there is a local public health order that prohibits it. Indoor visits must be permitted if a facility meets six criteria: no current COVID-19 outbreak, a decline in cases in the community, no new COVID-19 cases in the facility for the past 14 days, no staffing shortages and not using a COVID-19 staffing waiver, an adequate testing plan per AFL 20-53, and an approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.
On June 26, the California Department of Social Services released updated guidance regarding visitation in PIN 20-23-ASC that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES assisted living facilities to permit visitors under specified narrow circumstances, and permits indoor and outdoor visitation when certain criteria are met. Providers are required to follow the guidance unless there are contradictory or stricter requirements imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), or local health departments.
The recent California state policies described in the summaries above may have been partially motivated by our #VisitationSavesLives campaign. Now that residents are having some of their rights restored, the campaign will advocate for better state enforcement.
To read more about this campaign and see how you can help, please visit our Visitation Saves Lives Website.
Latest CANHR Press Release
This Press Release is from California Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson August 30, 2020 SACRAMENTO –As California faces another wildfire season, rolling blackouts, and potential public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)’s Senate Bill 1207 to require California nursing homes to have backup power for at least 96 hours during an emergency passed the Assembly today.
Contact Governor Newsom
Published April 10th, Introduction updated May 21st, Recommendations Updated June 24th, 2020, The last few months have been an unimaginable tragedy for many long-term care facility residents and their loved ones throughout California. Thousands of residents have died, suffered severe illnesses, or been hospitalized as COVID-19 outbreaks sweep through their facilities. Locked away from their loved ones, residents are suffering and dying alone in facilities that are not prepared or staffed to keep them safe during this pandemic.
Latest Free Webinar Recordings
Courtesy of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care Title: What to Look for and Questions to Ask as You Resume Visits in a Long-Term Care Facility Guest: Steven Levin, Michael Bonamarte, Levin & Perconti Date: October 21, 2020 Listen on iTunes and SoundCloud Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted residents of long-term care facilities and their families.
Latest Media News Item
By Erin Durkin, National Journal, January 21 2021 Nursing-home residents in line for the coronavirus vaccine at Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New York on Jan. 15. State and local health officials have been trying to get staff and residents of long-term-care facilities vaccinated rapidly to avoid more deadly outbreaks within nursing homes and other care settings.