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Homecare Worker Protection Bill Introduced in CT, In Memory of Slain Nurses

Democratic lawmakers in the Connecticut Senate highlighted the tragic loss of home healthcare workers during a recent announcement of legislative measures designed to enhance workplace safety. The proposals put forward include provisions for state-funded escorts and mandatory risk evaluations for patients with histories of violence or criminal behavior.

Connecticut Senate Democrats announced their legislative priorities for 2024, with Senate Bill 1 aiming to increase protections and support for home healthcare workers in the state. Senate Bill 1 is dedicated to the memories of homecare nurses who were killed at work, Joyce Grayson and Otolegile Morulane. Joyce Grayson was murdered and found dead in the basement of the halfway house for sex offenders where her patient was staying. Otolegile Morulane died in a house fire while providing care to a patient. Senator Marx said that Morulane’s death was not reported to OSHA. The bill signifies Democrats’ focus on healthcare and workers’ rights in the upcoming legislative session.

“We want to make sure that the patient who’s getting the care is safe, but also the provider who’s providing the care is safe,” said state Sen. Saud Anwar. 

If passed, SB 1 focuses on transparency and risk communication. It would mandate escorts for home healthcare workers during visits to high-risk patients and increase training requirements for home health workers. 

“It’s not just the elderly with dementia. People are angry out there, as are the family members,” said Sen. Martha Marx, who is also a Registered Nurse with over 25 years of experience. 

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The bill aims to prevent dangerous situations that can arise when healthcare workers are alone with unstable patients.

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According to Anwar’s news conference, home healthcare workers are five times as likely to be abused as other healthcare professionals. 

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“Think about this: You go to a workplace and almost half the people are going to be physically abused and 6 percent of them have been sexually abused. This is something that has reached a point that it is not sustainable, and this particular area of health care is the faster-growing segment. We want people to age at home, and the only way they can do that is if we have the right workforce in place,” said Sen. Saud Anwar, who is also a Physician.

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