As nursing homes and assisted living facilities begin to allow visitors again, it is important to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even if nursing homes as they reopen in your state are allowed to resume visitation, individual nursing homes may remain locked down due to local or facility-specific circumstances. Are you planning on visiting a loved one as soon as the nursing home reopens? If so, consider these helpful tips before you go.
First, contact the facility and ask what the procedures are for visitors. The CDC recommends limiting the number of visitors and the length of visits. Many nursing homes require families to schedule their visits in advance. Some nursing homes only allow visitors in “compassionate care” situations, such as when a resident is near death. You should expect to be limited in the frequency of your visits, so that the facility can guarantee proper social distancing measures are followed.
When you arrive, every person should be evaluated for symptoms, including a fever screening and a questionnaire about recent symptoms and exposure. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or have had any symptoms of illness, it is important to stay away. Upon entering, either wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer if a wash basin is not available.
Wear a mask at all times in the facility. Some facilities also require that visits happen outside, as studies have shown that the risk of contracting the virus is considerably lower outside.
While you may not be able to visit as often as you like, you can still remain connected to your loved ones. If you have not already, talk to the staff of the nursing home about setting up virtual visits. Through virtual visits, you could watch a movie with your loved one, take them on a walk through a park, or even play an online game. Do not forget about the importance of non-virtual connections, like cards and care packages.
As the Covid-19 pandemic persists, it can be important for us to remain vigilant in keeping particularly vulnerable populations such as our elder loved ones safe. For legal concerns regarding the continued care and well being of your elder loved one or how you will be able to continue to pay for the high cost of long-term skilled care, our office is here to help. Please reach out to our office at any time to schedule a meeting.