Distant Caregiving: Adjusting to the COVID-19 Restrictions

Our clients, like most of your parents and loved ones, are facing a serious threat.  COVID-19 is especially fatal for older adults and those with co-morbid conditions. This serious threat requires serious action. 

 

Everyone, and especially seniors, should interact with as few people as possible. 

 

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has implemented a strict guideline for nursing home residents. Under orders from the federal government, nursing homes are no longer allowing visitors into their communities. The only exception is for those receiving end-of-life care.  You can read the orders here: 

 

Nursing home and assisted living residents are now on severe restrictions. 


Although assisted living communities do not have to follow the strict guidelines, many of them are voluntarily implementing the same restrictions (as they are the recommendations from the CDC )

 

Families and outside caregivers (like our team) are prohibited from visiting our loved ones in communities. 

 

We know that residents who have loved ones and advocates visiting frequently typically receive better care.  Under normal circumstances, it is best to be engaged in your loved one’s care, overseeing the care being provided in nursing homes and assisted living communities. The threat of COVID-19 has removed our ability to do this in person.

 

Engagement in our loved one’s care must shift to remote monitoring.

As the CMS guidelines recommend, communication with family members and other providers should not be stopped.  Here is the new recommendation for communication:
In lieu of visits, facilities should consider: 
  1. Offering alternative means of communication for people who would otherwise visit, such as virtual communications (phone, video-communication, etc.).  
  2. Creating/increasing listserv communication to update families, such as advising to not visit. 
  3. Assigning staff as primary contact to families for inbound calls, and conduct regular outbound calls to keep families up to date.   
  4. Offering a phone line with a voice recording updated at set times (e.g., daily) with the facility’s general operating status, such as when it is safe to resume visits.

 

Request that your loved one’s community implement these recommendations to allow your continued involvement. Having restricted access to your parents or loved one does not mean that you should be cut off entirely from them. 

 

Dr. Leslie Kernisan, a geriatrician in San Francisco recently shared some information and recommendations for older adults and Coronavirus on her podcast (it’s a bit over 1 ½ hours long, but worth every minute): https://betterhealthwhileaging.net/podcast/bhwa/coronavirus-basics-and-helping-aging-parents-3-12-20/

 

The team at Hurley Elder Care Law continues to be available to you. If you have any questions please contact us at (404) 843-0121 or contact us through our website https://hurleyeclaw.com/contacts/