Senator Mensch’s Essential Caregiver Legislation Advances from Pennsylvania Senate

Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) advanced out of the Pennsylvania Senate today. SB 190 will allow for long-term care facilities to designate one or more ‘Essential Family Caregivers,’ or EFC, per resident. An EFC is any individual 18 years or older, who, prior to visitor restrictions, was regularly engaged with the resident at least once a week. This would most likely be a family member, or could be another caregiver that has had the role previously who is not an employee. The Senator’s floor remarks can be viewed here.

“While guidelines are changing and visitation restrictions are being relaxed, there is still a dire need for this bill now and in the future to make sure our loved ones are receiving the care and family interaction they need,” said Mensch.

The decision to designate an EFC should be individualized and integrated with the resident-centered care planned, and would be at the discretion of the facility upon agreement with the resident or their representative, and it must follow a resident’s care plan and only applies to facilities that can comply with current and future CDC and DOH guidelines. The legislation also states that a schedule and set amount of time allowed in the facility will be established and agreed to. This allows for the facility to set the schedules for residents and potentially staged EFC times throughout the day, as to not make the facility flooded with outside visitors at certain periods of the day.

“Our constituents have been asking for this for over a year, and even though current guidance has allowances for visitation, having this in place for now and the future ensures that there is always someone to provide care to a loved one, given certain regulations and guidelines for the safety of all involved,” said Mensch.

Currently, the policies in place limit the allowable interaction of families/ caregivers with their loved ones, seemingly prohibiting any level of care-giving. This bill would not change the visitation procedures already in place, rather it adds an element of caregiving which was previously unavailable.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.

CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro, mscarfaro@pasen.gov, 215-541-2388