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AARP Idaho Opposes Immunity for LTC Facilities

Woman at long-term care facility

AARP Idaho is urging state legislators to oppose legislative draft RS28049, a proposal that would grant immunity to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement from AARP State Director Lupe Wissel follows:

“More than half of the COVID-19 deaths in Idaho are from nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Nursing homes must remain responsible for the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.

“Especially when most inspections have been suspended and in-person family visits are prohibited, residents are vulnerable and often unable to advocate for themselves.

“Litigation must remain an option of last resort, and no family member who has lost a loved one due to neglect or abuse pursues this course of action lightly. We urge our state legislators to oppose RS28049. Idaho should not strip away the rights and protections of residents and their families.”

Legislative draft RS28049 would extend protection to “any and all individuals and private and public entities in any location and at any time,” which would include nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities. Granting immunity gives protection even to facilities that have a history of putting their residents at risk. The federal Government Accountability Office reported this year that 34 of 61 nursing homes (55.7%) surveyed in Idaho prior to COVID-19 had an infection prevention and control deficiency cited. [i]

More resources for the families of nursing home residents are available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.

[i] 1 Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic – A GAO Report to Senator Wyden, Senate Committee on Finance (May 20, 2020)

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