healthcare COVID-19 LTPAC

Visitation Policies in LTPAC Facilities in a Post-COVID World

By Monica Manna

COVID-19 has taken the lives of roughly 183,000 residents and staff at long-term and post-acute care facilities, or LTPAC. Strict restrictions were placed on visitation rights in order to keep both residents and staff safe and healthy. Now, the COVID-19 vaccine is loosening up restrictions. See what the vaccine means for future visitations.

You might be thinking...

Can I visit a loved one in a long-term care facility?

As of now, states still have different requirements and mandates regarding nursing home or long-term care visitation policies. However, restrictions under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are loosening up -- even allowing visitations if a facility has an outbreak of Covid-19. The CDC reports that fully vaccinated individuals can visit others indoors without masks or physical distancing. Nonetheless, the best way to ensure that it is safe to visit a loved one in a long-term care facility is to contact the facility prior to visiting.

There are also exceptions to visiting nursing homes if the restrictions are not as flexible. “Compassionate care” visits are allowed if your loved one is experiencing one of the following:

  • Needs emotional support due to a hard adjustment period
  • Grieving a loved one
  • Not eating or drinking without being prompted, and is consequently losing weight and becoming dehydrated 
  • Showing signs of emotional distress, such as crying frequently

A main reason for encouraging in-person visits now -- in addition to the vaccination easing worries -- is due to the lack of physical contact and emotional support people in facilities were receiving. CMS reported, “There is no substitute for physical contact, such as the warm embrace between a resident and their loved one.”

After the isolation, nervousness, and stress about COVID-19 in LTPAC facilities, the elderly patients suffered emotionally and mentally. That being said, it is now a great opportunity to visit a loved one in-person, instead of through a window or digital screen.

If you have more information regarding LTPAC facilities, reach out to one of our team members here. 

by Monica Manna

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