Families Urging State to Re-Open Visitation in Nursing Homes
According to CDC guidelines, visiting loved ones in nursing homes are restricted except for end-of-life situations. This has put a tremendous burden on families across the country with loved ones in Nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Given their nature and resident population served (older adults often with underlying chronic medical conditions), nursing home populations are at high risk of being affected by respiratory pathogens like COVID-19. Not being able to visit loved ones in these facilities can lead to a lack of transparency of their care or spotting red flags of nursing home abuse and neglect. Additionally, visitation bans take a huge mental toll on both the patient and their loved ones as human interaction with loved ones often lifts patients’ spirits and helps them recover.
Just as we were beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 declining and visiting our elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities seemed like it was back in sight, Florida extended the ban for another 60 days due to rising cases in the state.
Doug Adkins, executive director for Dayspring Village in Nassau County, explained “The recent rise in COVID-19 throughout Florida certainly has indicated the reopening of the facilities is impossible. We’ve got to look at safety first.”
Connecting With Loved Ones Inside a Florida Nursing Home or Assisting Living Facility Under Restrictions
While the state of Florida continues to struggle with flattening the curve, thus impacting visitation to our most vulnerable residents, there are ways that you can connect with loved ones without actually being there in person.
- Send letters or emails to family members in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. This provides them with communication and acts as an activity to keep them busy while in care.
- Utilize video conferencing like Zoom or FaceTime to connect with loved ones. Often staff will help the residents in connecting with their families.
- Drop off items such as posters, family photo albums, or scrapbooks that reminds residents of their loved ones and might serve as an arts and crafts project for patients to stay busy with while visitation is restricted.
State Level Restrictions – Florida
Although the Florida AARP is requesting strict protocol to allow visitors, the federal government says states should not allow visitors at these facilities until there are no new cases for at least 28 days. Also, AARP will now have to work with the state-imposed restrictions in order to expedite visitation rights.
One family member of a patient in a nursing home explained, “All she does now is turn on the TV and she sleeps. There’s no incentive for her. There’s no encouragement for her. She needs that help from others. It’s very frustrating to see and watch that.”
Family members say Florida must find a safe way to allow in-person visits. Especially since more than 15 other states have already done this.
Is the Nursing Home Allowed to Restrict my Visit in Florida?
Our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys are asked this question often. The answer is yes, a nursing home can limit who goes into a facility due to the ongoing pandemic.
If your loved one suffers wrongful death due to COVID-19 in a Florida facility, contact our firm today at 888-375-9998 for a free nursing home coronavirus lawsuit consultation.« Previous PostNext Post »