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Monday, April 24, 2017

Caregiver Act

Over the past several years, I have had to be in the hospital or nursing home a great deal.  One of the things that made this bearable was having my child-bride Suzanne with me.

This worked out fairly well at the regular hospital.  They had an almost comfortable place for her to sleep.  At the Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH), they had a chair that was allegedly designed for someone to sleep in.  This chair was designed by the descendants of the Marquis De Sade.

Both of these hospitals allowed for the caregiver to be with the patient 24/7.  This made
it good because Suzanne was there when I was having an insulin reaction.  She could summon help for me.

This was not the case at the nursing home (Skilled Nursing Center).  The nursing home had a policy that required all visitors to leave at 10 PM.  There never was a good reason given by the staff as to why this policy was in place.

However, I learned that after the visiting hours were over, there were only two employees left at the nursing home.  One was a security guard. 

After visiting hours one night, I looked down the hallway to see almost every call light was lit up.  The one nursing assistant was running from room to room trying to answer all the calls.  There was no nurse on duty and no doctors. 

Had these elderly people been able to have a caregiver stay with them, the workload on the lone nursing assistant would have been lighter.  But, then these caregivers would have seen that afterhours their loved one was actually receiving no care at all.

Therefore, I propose that the federal government enact a caregiver act.  This act would require that all health care facilities allow for caregivers to stay with their loved ones 24/7/365.

Caregivers would be allowed to come and go as they please. 

Also, all health care facilities will be required to provide for the caregivers needs like food, hygiene needs, and comfortable sleeping accommodations in the room with the patient. All caregivers should be provided these as part of the normal cost of the patient’s stay with no additional charge. 

If the caregiver has special dietary requirements, like for a diabetic, the facility must accommodate that.

All medical care facilities must have private rooms with a private bathroom rather than having one or two community bathrooms and/or community showers.

All rooms must be able to be converted from private to semi-private so that if a couple is in need of the facility’s services they can share a room with one another.

Under no circumstances should a person receive a lower level of care or service based upon the type of insurance they have. There should not be rooms that meet the standards of Medicaid but not the standards of private or other insurance.

Everyone should stand up now while they are not in need of this type of service because, as our generation ages, there will be more and more need for nursing services.

Please write or call your US senator and US congressman and demand they address this situation today.

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  1. That is a great idea! I was lucky to get to stay with my hubby when his appendix burst years ago. I always worry what would happen in another hospital or rehab center.

    1. Thanks. I just wish we could actually make it happen.


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