2021 Revised Nursing Home Visitation Guidelines

Nursing Home Visitation During Covid

The Holidays Can Be Even More Stressful During Covid

As we enter the holiday season, it is important to note that it can be a hard time for our elder clients.
Under normal circumstances, it is a time of loneliness and stress. After this long year of Covid isolation, the loneliness can be even worse.

The rate of Covid infection has decreased due to vaccinations but it is still around and is especially deadly for our families in nursing facilities.

Visitation is Crucial For Our Elders

While we are not doctors, prohibiting all visitation is not good for our elders. They need their family members to fight isolation, to provide valuable communication of needs to paid caregivers, and even to help at meal or bedtimes.
We saw so many family caregivers denied access and care suffered a lot.

CMS Nursing Home Visitation Guidelines Revised in Time For The Holidays

The good news is that the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) provided guidance that affirms the need for visitation.

On November 12, 2021, the revised visitation guidelines included the following:

  • Facilities MUST allow indoor visitation at ALL TIMES for ALL RESIDENTS
  • Facilities can no longer limit frequency and length of visits, number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits.
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated can have close contact, including touch.
  • While encouraged, vaccination of visitors is not required.
  • Those who are fully vaccinated and not immunocompromised can decide if they want to wear masks and have physical contact.

There are more guidelines, but this is a federal regulation and a facility should follow these rules.
If they do not, please do not hesitate to contact the ombudsman.

We may not be at the end of this pandemic but we are recognizing that it is much more becoming endemic like the yearly flu season. We must learn to live with this for the time being. No matter what, families need each other now more than ever.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Kabb Law Firm.