On the ballot: Proposition 6 allows right to designate essential caregiver for in-person visits

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK)- Proposition 6 is an amendment that would establish a right for senior residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation. The amendment was introduced after families were restricted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The separation from having a loved one, trusted friend, or family member at your bedside is terrible,” said Cameron Health Authority, Dr. James Castillo.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, isolation protocols have resulted in extreme weight loss, rapid cognitive decline, and despondency among long-term care residents who are missing in-person visits from family and friends.

“Many of us have our elderly in nursing homes. Family members often were completely shut out,” said Attorney Rick Barrera.

This has caused an acceleration of decline among senior citizens and a leading cause of death in long term care facilities. This proposition would amend the issue of loved ones being alone if another lockdown were to occur.

“They have a heavy burden of protection of the elderly. So, pandemic or no pandemic- they have the right to exclude. If this proposition passes, that right is very much mitigated,” said Barrera.

Proposition 6 would allow residents, especially those with memory related issues to continue living a life of balance.

“One person can be designated per the family that would have access as a caregiver and cannot be denied by the nursing home,” said Barrera.

Stephanie Taylor, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County, mentioned if visitation can take place safely, then it should be allowed.

“Having someone designated as an essential caregiver, I think is really important for their health and wellbeing and their overall outcome,” said Taylor.

If you plan on voting early, the last day to do so is Friday, and Election Day is Tuesday.

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