Nursing Home Providers Strongly Urge Legislators to Protect Elderly and Their Caregivers by Opposing Gun Bill
For Immediate Release
March 24, 2015
Contact: Rebecca Reid
Nursing Home Providers Strongly Urge Legislators to Protect Elderly and Their Caregivers by Opposing Gun Bill That Would Allow Handguns in Eldercare Facilities
(Austin, TX) – Stressing the need to protect vulnerable elderly, their family members and the skilled nursing staff who care for frail seniors, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) testified in opposition today to House Bill 308, legislation that would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry handguns in certain locations, including Texas nursing homes.
“Nursing home providers are responsible for the health, safety and well-being of their patients and for the staff that cares for vulnerable, elderly residents, “ testified Gloria Bean-Williams, Director of Quality and Clinical Outcomes for the THCA, before the Texas House of Representatives’ Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. “Allowing the carrying of handguns into nursing homes would create a significant level of additional risk and potentially compromise the ability of providers to prevent both unintentional and calculated acts that could harm residents and staff.”
Current law prohibits carrying concealed handguns in certain locations, including skilled nursing facilities. House Bill 308 would repeal sections of the law and lift the ban on the ability of licensed gun owners to bring hand guns into those environments, as well as hospitals, churches, and amusement parks.
“Texas nursing homes provide compassionate care to seniors with an array of health conditions requiring post-acute rehab and therapy as well as mental health issues including dementia, depression and other illnesses that make access to firearms highly inappropriate and potentially dangerous,” Bean-Williams continued. “For thousands of residents across Texas, nursing facilities are where they now call home. What good can be served from increasing health and safety risks to an already vulnerable patient population and the dedicated caregivers whose mission is to see they are healthy have a good quality of life?”
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Founded in 1950, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) is the largest long-term care association in Texas. THCA’s membership is comprised of several hundred licensed non-profit and for-profit skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), specialized rehabilitation facilities and assisted living facilities in Texas. These facilities provide comprehensive, around-the-clock nursing care for chronically ill or short-term residents of all ages, along with rehabilitative and specialized medical programs. THCA also represents more than 190 long-term care businesses that provide products and services to the state’s approximately 2,850 nursing homes and assisted living facilities. To learn more, visit http://txhca.org/ or connect with THCA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.