ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Assemblyman Harry Bronson (D-Dist. 138) says since last March, the time lost and the damage done to nursing home residents and loved ones cannot be replaced.

“And it can’t be repaired,” he says.

Bronson says this newly passed Nursing Home Bill can prevent that from happening again. It now means during this, or any pandemic, a resident can designate two or more family members to come inside. 

“Even when there are visitation restrictions,” he says.

Bronson says loved ones help to supplement the care that staff provides.

“Maybe to bathe or take care of their personal hygiene of the resident of the nursing home, be there, hold their hand to comfort them,” he says.

“I’m not going to lie, I’ve gone in my mom’s nursing home, and she’s been sitting in her urine for hours,” says advocate Kim Brown whose mother is in a nursing home.

Brown has actually been able to see her mother since November, but certainly understands the journey so many families have been on during the pandemic. She says many residents passed away from a failure to thrive.

“And behind that failure to thrive is all the lack of family, lack of love, lack of support,” says Brown.

She says Bronson’s bill will ensure families can give the extra treatment overwhelmed staff cannot.

“You have to have a certain level of care,” she says adding, “Don’t do this to us again. Don’t lock us away from our loved ones again. You did nothing right by locking families out. You only hurt us more.”

Bronson says this bill took longer than expected to get over the finish line, but he’s happy that now —-loved ones can be together.

“This bill is about making sure that families stay connected during a pandemic,” he says.

Bronson’s office says nursing homes will have ten days to implement changes to this law.
Bronson worked on this bill with Senator Rachel May.