Nursing home residents thrilled about new visitation guidelines

Residents at The Gardens at Georgia Tucker assisted living home thrilled about new COVID visitation rules
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 7:30 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Families are thrilled with Louisiana’s new guidelines on nursing homes that will allow them to visit their loved ones in person.

The new guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services late Thursday allows nursing homes to conduct outdoor visitation with social distancing. Facilities that meet certain criteria are allowed to have indoor visits as well. Those are nursing homes that haven’t had any new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and are in a parish with no more than a 10% positivity rate.

CMS imposed restrictions on nursing home visitation in March in an effort to control outbreaks of the coronavirus and protect one of our most vulnerable populations.

The Gardens at Georgia Tucker says it’s still working to implement the new rules and regulations. Then it plans to have a meeting with residents to go over the changes to keep everyone safe. Even though the facility isn’t allowing visitors on the first day of implementing the new ruling, the residents can’t wait.

“Our residents are just so excited. They are thrilled to have their families be able to come back in the building. I have seen the toll that it’s taking on all of our residents. They missed their loved ones,” said Kelly Coburn, the Executive Director at Georgia Tucker.

Residents like Betty Jopling say they feel like they’ve missed out on so much since the restrictions began, from things like their independence to the birth of grandkids.

“Since we’ve been locked down I’ve gotten two new little great-granddaughters that came in April and I haven’t been able to see them or visit with them so I’m really excited to see them. The first thing I’m going to do is, I want to grab the babies and hold them.”

Some of those guidelines may look like only having two visitors at a time for residents, visits limited to 30 minutes, and designated areas for the residents and family to visit, like the facility’s furnished patio.

CMS does recommend a number of mitigation measures, including that nursing homes limit how many visitors a resident can have at one time, as well as limiting the number of visitors that can be in the facility at once. The guidance also says face coverings, and social distancing of at least six feet between people should be adhered to at all times.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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