Compassionate Care Visits for Nursing Home residents
Visitation with loved ones at nursing homes have been extremely limited, and is limited more when the facility has a COVID-19 outbreak. But did you know that there is a different type of visit that has been approved in Kentucky. A compassionate care visit is a visit specifically for a resident’s well-being during this trying time. This allows residents who are having a decline because of pandemic shut down to see family in an effort to improve their condition or help them get back on track.
The restrictions placed in Nursing Facilities are meant to keep residents safe, but often as a result many residents become depressed, lonely, isolated, confused, or are worried that something has happened to their family and this can lead to a decline. Residents who wish to have Compassionate Care visits can contact the facility to request them and may contact their Ombudsman if they are having issues securing Compassionate Care visits. Decisions about compassionate care visitation are made on a case-by-case basis by the Provider, consistent with CMS guidelines. Through a person-centered approach, a Provider should work with residents, families, caregivers, resident representatives, and the Ombudsman program to identify the need for compassionate care visits.
Types of “Compassionate Care” include, but are not necessarily limited to:
A resident, who
a) was living with family before recently entering a nursing home, is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support.
b) is grieving after a friend or family member recently passed away.
c) needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family and/or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.
d) used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently (when the resident had rarely cried in the past).
e) has a beloved family pet and would likely benefit from engaging with it (single resident per pet visit).
Allowing a visit in these situations would be consistent with the intent of “compassionate care” situations. It is important to remember that facilities will still expect families to follow guidelines during compassionate care visits so they will expect social distance and PPE and may not allow activities such as feeding/grooming resident. In addition to Compassionate Care visits, End-of-life care visitation should also be observed by facilities. End of life visitation within a resident’s room will still require the visitor to observe all appropriate precautions, consistent with CDC guidelines.
If you have any questions about Compassionate Care visits or need assistance please feel free to contact your Ombudsman. If your facility is denying you Compassionate care visits, please contact us right away as this is a willful disregard of the guidance. Your Ombudsman is:
District Long Term Care Ombudsman
1616 Greenup Ave.
Ashland, Ky 41101