I have had several calls from people worried about loved ones in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Many of these calls have related to concerns about what is being done to protect their loved ones. Other times people have expressed frustration over the fact that they cannot go visit with a loved one at this time. The COVID-19 outbreak has been stressful for everyone and has affected every part of our society. However, given that long-term care residents are most likely all at a heightened risk, it is understandable that there is extra concern attached to these people.
At this time, as directed by Executive Order, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has restricted visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, with the exception of end of life situations (which are to be considered on a case-by-case basis). This means that you will not be able to go visit your loved one at a facility at this time. However, DHEC has made suggestions (not mandatory requirements) for ways loved ones can keep up with communications and information as much as possible. You can contact your loved one’s long term care facility to inquire as to what measures they may now have in place for such communication.
Additionally, DHEC has made available numerous recommendations and suggestions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for how healthcare workers in these facilities should behave to minimize the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. These recommendations run from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, respecting social distancing, isolation of symptomatic residents and daily monitoring of all residents in the facility (twice daily if COVID-19 is in the facility). To see these recommendations and to get more information from DHEC regarding COVID-19 as it relates to long-term care facilities, visit DHEC’s website.
In the meantime, we all pray for the people in long-term care facilities during this crisis, for their loved ones who worry over them and for all the brave healthcare workers who do their best to care for them.
Blog post by Jeremy Dantin. Learn more about Jeremy here.
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