Seniors and nursing home residents are at particular risk from the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Current estimates are that the death rate is likely to be at least 15% and perhaps substantially higher for this population. Many area nursing homes have decided to prohibit all visitors out of “an abundance of caution.”
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has recommended against a complete ban on visitors. Instead, the AHCA recommends restricting entry to immediate families or friends who need to visit for time-sensitive reasons, such as if the resident is on hospice. They also recommend a restriction on activities that can increase exposure such as routine social visits, tours, and group activities.
The AHCA has urged facilities to set up procedures to allow for remote communication so residents can remain in contact with their loved ones. Families need to be prepared for visit restrictions.
If the nursing home does restrict visitors, you should demand regular updates regarding Coronavirus emergency plans, exposure, testing, and morbidity. Maintain proactive communication with your loved one and facility staff. Advocacy will be more essential than ever in the event of a quarantine.
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