Is your parent one of the 1.3 million residents in a nursing home facility? If so, your next visit will be much different than your visits before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Until recently, most nursing homes were not allowing any indoor visits because their residents were at such a greater risk of death from contracting COVID-19. Indeed, 35 percent of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States have taken place in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Fortunately, nursing home residents and staff were one of the first groups to receive COVID-19 vaccinations and many nursing homes have been easing some of their restrictions on visitors to allow residents to finally connect in person with their loved ones. On March 10, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revised their guidance for nursing home visits and stated that a nursing home may even allow residents to have close contact, including hugs, if the resident has been fully vaccinated.
Still, even though indoor visits may be permitted and even though some nursing homes may even allow touching, there may still be many protocols in place that you need to be mindful of before you visit to help ensure the safety of nursing home residents and staff. Some common protocols include:
Making appointments to visit in advance so that the nursing home can ensure they do not reach maximum capacity for allowable persons indoors;
Mask-wearing, social distancing, and sanitization requirements remain in place to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 transmission;
Temperature checks at the door and a pre-screening questionnaire about symptoms and exposure can be expected for risk assessment and contact tracing purposes;
Time limits may be placed on visits to, again, ensure the facility maintains a safe capacity; and
You may even be asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test result before being permitted to visit indoors.
Make sure you contact your parent’s facility so that you can understand their policies and procedures before you plan your visit. We are your local, experienced, law firm! Do not hesitate to call, chat or click here to contact us today!