Visitation Allowed at Florida Nursing Homes

As of September 1, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued Emergency Order 20-009 which permits family visitation at skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Prior to this order, family visits at Florida nursing homes were expressly banned. Now that Florida’s Division of Emergency Management has lifted the nursing home visitation ban, families should be able to see their loved ones inside Florida facilities, subject to the nursing home’s internal regulations.

The Most Recent Change to Florida Law on Visiting a Family Member in a Nursing Home During Covid-19

Because of rampant coronavirus in nursing homes, Florida nursing homes shuttered family visits. For awhile, even third party medical providers, like hospice and wound care teams, were being forbidden from entering facilities. However, Emergency Order 20-009 changes all that and allows families to visit their loved one, under the following conditions:

  • There is adequate personal protective equipment for the nursing home staff
  • The facility is not understaffed and can handle outside visitors on the floor
  • The facility has not had a recent infectious disease outbreak or spike in COVID cases
  • No staff member is positive for coronavirus
  • The facility is adequately cleaned and disinfected

If any of the above requirements are not met, the nursing home may refuse outside visitors.

Spotting Neglect Related Injuries During Your Nursing Home Visit

If the facility allows family to visit, make sure to do a head to toe body inspection of your loved one, especially if you have not seen them in person recently. Unfortunately, care levels have decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, so you should be vigilant in inspecting your family member’s body for signs of abuse or neglect.

Be on the lookout for unexplained bruising and bed sores. Make sure they have a healthy appearance, that they do not appear lethargic and have maintained a steady weight.

If you suspect any deterioration in their condition or an emergent health concern, call an outside physician to have your parent examined.

For more information on a nursing home’s right to refuse visitors, read our post about why is the nursing home restricting my visit?

Full text of EO 20-009

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