As COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in the state of Florida, nursing homes are beginning to once again limit visitors in an effort to protect residents and staff members from potential exposure. The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare have put forth visitation guidelines for nursing homes, which it is recommended that all nursing homes follow for the time being. Source.
While it is upsetting that families may not be allowed to visit their loved ones in nursing homes at this time, it is also important that these facilities are making the effort to protect residents and staff members. With seniors being one of the most at-risk groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth noting that nursing homes are doing their best to protect your loved ones.
Visitation guidelines set forth by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare are as follows:
- Outdoor visits should remain available at all facilities unless a resident has a health condition — such as a COVID-19 infection — that hinders their ability to do so safely
- Facilities also should allow indoor visits, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, unless there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmission. If a staff member or resident tests positive, for example, the home is encouraged to suspend visitation, at least in that area of the facility, and to begin testing.
- If fewer than 70 percent of residents in a facility are fully vaccinated and cases in the county are spiking, the home should limit indoor visits.
There is one exception to these guidelines. Compassionate care visits, which allow a loved one to provide comfort to a long-term resident who is suffering or near death, should be allowed “regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate or an outbreak.”
While most nursing homes are, in fact, following these guidelines, they are not all interpreting the guidelines the same. Some of the different ways that nursing homes are interpreting these guidelines include pausing indoor visits when a resident or staff member tests positive, only allowing vaccinated visitors in common areas, and/or only allowing visitation through a plexiglass barrier or closed window.
While it can be difficult to have limited visitation with your loved ones, it is important to know that nursing home facilities should be doing everything in their power to keep your loved ones protected. If you plan to visit your loved ones in a nursing home, it is a good idea to contact the facility ahead of your visit to make sure you know their visitation policies as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.
To read more articles similar to this one, check out the blog section of our website.