Nursing homes begin to allow in-person visits with protections in place

How nursing homes are accommodating families

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Almost two weeks ago, Governor Kay Ivey updated the Safer at Home order to allow in-person visitation at nursing homes during the pandemic as long as certain rules are followed.

Facilities are slowly easing into the new process.

Many residents haven’t seen their families in person, and now they can at least see them through plexiglass.

Fair Haven is a large nursing-facility in Birmingham that had not been able to open its visitor doors since March due to the increased risk of COVID-19 to the elderly.

On Monday...a moment. A family that got to see their loved one, face-to-plastic.

“It’s very good to see what Fair Haven is doing, they’ve got a way to protect the resident, but still allow the resident to have a good interaction with their family,” said John Matson, director of the Alabama Nursing Home Association.

There have been creative ways to host visits outdoors, like the so-called “chatterbox,” but indoor visits are now permitted.

That’s a big feeling of relief for those who live in assisted living.

“Certainly as we’ve said before, this is not a return to normal nursing home visitation, but it is a step in the right direction,” said Matson.

Facilities are allowed to offer visitation if they follow strict guidance, and so far, Matson says it’s gone smoothly.

“Family members that are coming to the visits know what to expect and know they are not normal pre-COVID visits but it’s still a chance to visit with their loved one,” said Matson.

And masks or not, you can see the smiles on both sides of the plexiglass.

Check with your respective facility before visiting.

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