A Message from HCA President Al Cardillo: HCA Capitol Report, Vol. 1, No. 5

As the spring season gives rise to a spirit of renewal, now is an excellent time for you and your staff to connect – or reconnect – with home care providers and their patients in your districts.

We know your district days, when session is adjourned, are a busy time to catch up on local events or constituent work. But please consider making space on your district calendar to visit a constituent who is facing an illness, disability, chronic condition or long term care need at home.

This is especially important given that many patients are home-bound and welcome the opportunity to meet and be heard.

Plus, a home care visit gives you a chance to talk to local service providers who will join you at the patient’s home. They are a vital, community-rooted resource who can explain all of the important behind-the-scenes work involved in care planning and service delivery that you will witness firsthand.

Home care organizations are your constituents, too – and, by extension, so, too, are their employees who contribute directly to the livelihood of your community.

Often, in Albany, the work we do as advocates and policymakers can seem altogether abstract. While this is unavoidable when working on behalf of entire populations, it is important to make our work personal, concrete and, therefore, meaningful. By meeting patients in their home environment, you can’t help but observe powerful interactions with the caregivers who fulfill their needs and make home care such a vital lifeline.

To borrow the words of a Senator from another state, Susan Collins: “A home health care agency in northern Maine, which is where I grew up, invited me to come with some nurses on a home health care visit with them. It was an amazing experience, and it was what turned me into an advocate for home health and hospice care.”

We hope that you find the experience to be similarly transformational.

The invitation for a home care visit is always open, and HCA can help connect you with both a provider and a patient to visit at home. All you have to do is tell us you are interested! If so, please have your office contact HCA’s Communications Director Roger Noyes at (518) 810-0665 or rnoyes@hcanys.org and we will connect you with an agency to establish logistics.

HCA has a YouTube channel with videos showing patients at home, including visits by elected officials to meet constituents receiving care (see below). Please also see some print media coverage here for a sense of what these visits are like.