ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott is promoting legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that would designate an essential caregiver to have visitation rights to nursing home residents.

Parrott explains that during the pandemic restrictions on such visitations went too far. These visitors would have to follow the same protocols as nursing home staff. Parrot said his bill is modeled after federal guidelines established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

He says the Maryland Department of Health is on board with the relaxed regulations. By barring visitation, Parrott says nursing home residents suffer from severe isolation.

“People in nursing homes, when they don’t have visitors, they’re not eating,” Parrott explains. “They’re depressed. It’s affecting their health. A lot of them are dying simply because the depression that no one’s there.”

Parrott’s legislation is cosponsored by Washington County Delegate Brenda Thiam