Connecticut legislature

Advocates Push to Improve Nursing Homes in Connecticut

Lawmakers are taking steps to improve long-term care facilities for residents and staff in our state. 

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From staffing shortages to the quality of care, the COVID pandemic magnified challenges in nursing homes.

But studies show these issues existed long before COVID-19. Now, lawmakers are taking ambitious steps to improve these facilities for residents and staff in our state. 

You can think of it as advocates working together to make nursing homes - better homes.

On Thursday, they gathered at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to discuss several bills that work to improve and protect those living in these facilities. 

One of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation is Senate Bill 989, which ensures that nursing homes have transportation for residents to visit nearby family. 

It also pushes for proper staffing levels and requires homes to be more transparent with their funding. 

Among a crowd of advocates Thursday, one was there on behalf of his wife who suffered a stroke in August 2020 and had to be placed in a nursing home. 

However, he said, she isn't getting the right care and hopes more can be done at the state level to improve her situation. 

"The issue I'm having with them is bed sores. She's not getting the proper turning. I've begged with them and begged with them. And I go see my wife every day, so I know her situation. She's supposed to be turned every two hours and they just don't do it," said Nelson Sylvia, of Windsor.

"I mean it's really kind of a stunning realization of the quality or lack of quality that some people in some nursing homes live in. And I wanna be clear, these are people's homes," said Nora Duncan, Connecticut's AARP State Director.

Another key part of this bill is the use of air conditioning.  

Unlike other neighboring states like Massachusetts or Rhode Island, Connecticut has no state law that requires air conditioning in nursing homes. 

State leaders are pushing to put this into law no later than January 2024.

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