25 NY Senators Call on Hospitals to Allow Patient Companions

25 NY Senators Call on Hospitals to Allow Patient Companions

New York - Please allow patients to be accompanied by a relative when they’re hospitalized.

That was the message of a letter sent Wednesday by a majority of the New York state Senate Democratic majority to hospital CEOs. This follows a similar missive penned late last week by three dozen assembly members.

 “One of the greatest tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic has been patients’ isolation during their hospitalization,” states the petition, which was written by Sen. David Carlucci’s office and signed by 25 senators. “We propose that your hospitals create new Compassionate Helper Volunteer Programs to connect families with their loved ones while they are hospitalized. These programs will identify individuals who can aid in nonmedical, quality-of-life activities to ease a patient’s and their family’s fear due to separation. These volunteers can also assist in strengthening cultural competency and overcoming language barriers between the patient and staff. The presence of these individuals would provide some much-needed relief to our overwhelmed hospital staff.”

The Compassionate Helpers would consist of people who had the virus and then recovered from it, with a test proving they had antibodies as an immunity. A Compassionate Helper might be a family member of someone who is currently hospitalized as long as they meet the selection criteria and have been appropriately trained.

Hospitals have not yet responded to the original letter.


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