Inside visitation at nursing homes will open soon

Indoor visitations at Nursing Homes

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - By this Friday, some of you may be able to walk through the doors of your loved ones nursing home again to talk to them in person.

John Matson with the Alabama Nursing Home Association said a visit with loved ones gives elderly people joy.

“It adds so much to their quality of life, and clearly family members want to be there and see their loved ones in the nursing home face-to-face," Matson said.

Indoor visitation in the affiliated nursing homes will resume October 2nd, and outdoor visitation will also continue. These privileges do come with some conditions though.

“The ability to have indoor visitation is dependent on the community. The Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services cannot allow indoor visits if the county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent," Matson said.

A statistic, Senior Rehab and Recovery Center at Limestone Health Facility’s Wade Menefee knows all too well. His nursing home cannot allow visitors inside just yet, unless it’s considered a compassionate care visit.

“Right now since Limestone County is at such a high positivity rate we cannot have indoor visitation," Menefee said. "We can only have outdoor visitation at this time.”

That nursing home now has zero cases of COVID-19. This facility, Menefee said once had around 70 positive cases at one time. Menefee told our crews he is proud of the steps his staff took to drastically decrease this number during a pandemic after having several people in the facility test positive with no symptoms.

“We have tents that we have ordered and are getting ready to get those set up and have outdoor visitation at our building," he said.

Matson said nursing homes that have had a COVID-19 positive resident or staff member in the last 14 days cannot allow indoor visitation, and nursing homes that meet all requirements for indoor visits can still choose to not have them.

If you want to visit your loved one, Matson said call the nursing home ahead of time and schedule an appointment.

You will be required to wear a mask and have to go through a health screening.

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