CHICAGO, IL – For millions of American families, the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted families from visiting their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living centers. Now, as many states begin to roll back strict policies initially put in place when the pandemic began, some families finally have the opportunity to see their loved ones in person.
With new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nursing homes are allowed to use more creative measures to allow visits from family members.
What States Allow Nursing Home Visitation?
So far, 26 states are starting to allow nursing home visitation, while 18 others are planning similar visitation guidelines for assisted living facilities.
Nursing homes are allowing visitors; however, visitors will have to follow specific guidelines. These guidelines include:
- Families must schedule an appointment to visit residents in advance
- Visitors must undergo a temperature check and answer a COVID-19 screening questionnaire
- Only 1 or 2 visitors can visit at a time
- Visits must take place outside on a patio or garden area
- No physical contact such as hugs are allowed
- All visits will be supervised by a staff member
- Visitors must practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from residents and staff
If a resident or staff member develops COVID-19, then the facility will ban all nursing home visitations. State officials may also implement a no-visitation policy if state officials note a significant rise in COVID-19 cases.
Understanding the Risks of Allowing Nursing Home Visitation
After nearly four months in isolation, many families feel relief knowing they can once again visit their loved ones. Between being isolated and COVID-19, the pandemic has taken a serious toll on the physical and mental health of residents nationwide. Residents have very limited interaction with other residents and staff and are confined to being in their rooms most of the time.
It’s important to understand that while this is step in the right direction, there’s also many risks to visiting your loved one in a nursing facility. Nursing home residents are the most vulnerable to contract COVID-19. Nearly 45 percent of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in long-term facilities.
Many families have expressed their concern over their loved one being neglected or abused during the lockdown. Without their involvement and oversight, families are worried their loved one has not received adequate care.
Learn More about Nursing Home Residents Rights
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way everything operates, especially nursing homes; however, nursing home residents still have rights. They have the right to quality care that ensures a safe and healthy life.
If you have concerns regarding the quality of care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Our legal team will help you understand the rights of nursing home residents and ensure that your loved one gets the care he or she deserves. Even during a pandemic, we want you to know your loved one’s legal rights and know that you are not alone.
If you have any questions, please call our office at (312) 384-1920 for a free consultation or visit our website for more information.