State Senate Approves Bill Protecting Nursing Home Residents

May 14, 2021

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) applauded the State Senate voting to place Senate Bill 975 on today’s consent calendar. The imminent passage of the bill with strengthen the state’s Long-Term Care Bill of Rights for nursing home residents to improve access to virtual connections between long-term care facility residents and family members.


Senate Bill 975 gives nursing home residents the right to treat their living quarters as their own home, and therefore allows residents to use all forms of virtual communication, including in-room video technology, to communicate privately with family and loved ones.


“In the early days of the pandemic, nursing home residents were terrorized by the situation they faced,” said Senator Kelly. “Residents were kept in their rooms scared and isolated from family, surrounded by illness and death, without even an opportunity to walk outside for a breath of fresh air for months. Connecticut failed those residents. The state removed the ability of a family member to be the eyes and ears for their loved ones without preserving accountability. Protecting seniors’ rights to utilize virtual communication and video technology to prevent future social isolation is key to protecting the most vulnerable. We must make sure that the terror and isolation nursing home residents faced in the early days of the pandemic never occurs again.”


Senator Formica said: “Far too many loved ones in our nursing homes lost their lives to COVID-19. But the virus was not the only threat seniors faced. Continued social isolation also impacted the death toll and the health and wellbeing of vulnerable nursing home residents. This bill will give nursing home residents the right to use virtual technology in their rooms to combat social isolation and of equal, if not more importance, this bill will help family members monitor their loved ones so they can recognize if something is out of the ordinary. The bill takes into account patients’ privacy and their right to access their family using modern technology. It is the result of important work by advocates and bipartisan lawmakers. I thank everyone for their support in advancing this policy forward.”


The bill has been placed on today’s consent calendar in the State Senate. A vote is expected later today. Following today’s vote, the bill will move to the House of Representatives.