Since the introduction of the vaccine, life for nursing home residents has changed drastically. One key note is that rules regarding visitors have been updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Though these changes have been taking place, there are still many confused family members with tons of questions and concerns. The Pamphlet, Nursing Home Visitation and Quarantine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) &Advocacy Strategies for Families, aims to answer these questions and to help alleviate any causes for concern.

Frequently Asked Questions on the pamphlet include:

  1. Can the facility refuse indoor visits?
    -No, unless a resident meets the criteria listed on the pamphlet. 
  2. Can the facility limit the length and frequency of visits to 15 minutes once a week?
    -This depends on the living situation and the patient. 
  3. Can the facility refuse to allow visitation because they do not have enough staff?
    -The short answer here is no. Check out the pamphlet, link below, for more detailed information. 
  4. Can the facility restrict me from visiting my loved one in her room? She needs help eating and has lost forty pounds during the pandemic.
    If there is no roommate: If your loved one does not have a roommate, the facility should allow visitation in your loved one’s room. If there is a roommate: The updated CMS guidance says that residents who share a room should not have visits in their rooms if possible. However, if the health status of the resident prevents them from leaving the room, the
    guidance states that the facility should try to enable in-room visitation while following all infection prevention guidelines.
  5. Can a facility shut down visitation for fourteen days after a staff member tests positive, even if the facility’s outbreak testing showed no further cases?
  6. Can a facility require a negative COVID test before I visit my loved one? Can they require me to be vaccinated before they let me in for an indoor visit?
  7. Can a facility deny compassionate care visits because my loved one is not at “end-of life?” My loved one is really suffering.
  8. Can my loved one be forced to quarantine when she enters a new facility? I really want to visit to help her with her adjustment. She’s struggling and confused.
  9. Will my loved one be quarantined if they leave the facility for a medical appointment? What if I bring my loved one home to visit family for the evening? Does it matter how
    long they are gone from the facility?
    If your loved one wants to leave their nursing home, they can leave whenever they like. They are not a prisoner and are always free to leave. Nevertheless, in some situations they may be required to quarantine upon their return. Any resident who has had prolonged exposure to an individual with COVID-19 outside the facility in the prior fourteen
    days must be quarantined – whether or not the resident is vaccinated. 
  10. Now that my loved one is vaccinated, does that change what they can do or what our visits look like?

Nursing Home Visitation and Quarantine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) & Advocacy Strategies for Families provided by The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

Check out the above link for more information!