Some Unhappy With New Assisted Living Visitation Rules

Nursing Home, Assisted Care,
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There's pushback to last week's new rules regarding visitation rights to nursing homes and other long term care facilities.Nursing home visits must take place outdoors and supervised with both parties in masks.  That doesn't sit well with North Texan Mary Nichols, founder of the facebook group Texas caregivers for compromise.  "Now both people are outside in the Texas heat, instead of one peeking in a dirty window and climbing over shrubs.  There's still no touching.  It is still going to be very difficult for people with any kind of dementia."Visitors going in to an assisted living or Texas State school or other long term care facilities can enter the building, but must see their loved one behind Plexiglas.  Nichols says "these are hearing impaired senior adults who can't hear any better through the Plexiglas than through the window.   They are also talking through a mask.  We're still going to have the same kind of confusion and agitation, unable to touch your loved one. She calls this an "enhanced window wave."  And it only applies to facilities that have no covid patients nor employees with covid in the last 14 days.  Visitors must be screened with a temperature check and wear PPE. She says nursing homes and other facilities does not have to allow these visits.  "It's not what we hoped for.  It's a baby step, but in a lot of ways I feel like it's a crawl.  Five months into this we should be doing better."She fears it could be months before another phase of loosing restrictions happens.  "A lot of these residents, they don't have several more months."Nichols wants one family member be allowed to visit per patient.  That family member would have to be tested and wear personal protective equipment and be screened upon entering.  "That family member would be declared essential and provide the caregiving we provided prior to the lockdown.  We're not just visitors.  We actually go in there and we assess their environment.  We spoon feed them.  We take of their grooming.  We clean their room. We make sure they have the supplies they need.  We trim their hair.  We make sure they're not sitting in a wheelchair full of urine.  We do more than just sit and visit."