Change NYS Guidelines for Nursing Home Visitation
We are asking the NYS Department of Health, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to revise their current guidelines on nursing home visits.
The current guidelines require the facility to be COVID-free (both residents and staff) for 28 days before allowing visitation either inside or outside, including window visits.
It has been almost six months since we have seen my father! In that time, we missed our parents 50th anniversary, Father's Day and today is his 76th birthday. He also missed celebrating his four of his grandchildren's birthday's, his granddaughters communion among other special occasions.
At my fathers nursing facility, Long Island State Veterans Home, they have not met the 28 day guideline once and our hopes are continuously let down when an employee/resident tests positive.
We ask for the following considerations:
- Reduce the 28 day guideline to 14 days
- For NYS to put into place an Essential Caregiver Guidance as an interim step of welcoming back designated family members and others that follow the same screening and testing as facility staff members. Several states including MN, NJ, IN, SD and MI have these programs in place and we would like NY to also put such a guidance in place.
Why essential caregivers are so important:
- They detect concerns and advocate on behalf of the resident.
- They observe and communicate important details and changes in a resident’s condition/behaviors.
- They assist the resident in management of complex or critical information.
- They provide emotional support and help honor the resident’s personal values and preferences of care.
- They alleviate caregiving tasks for staff and providers.
- They preserve and promote quality of life for residents.
- They help promote/maintain a sense of continuity, identity, and autonomy for resident
In my opinion, death rates at nursing homes will begin to rise with failure to thrive as a reason. Our parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, friends need companionship and need to be engaged. Not only is this isolating for residents but can be cause depression for us family members as well.
These guidelines need to change!