Officials propose in person visitation plan for assisted living facilities

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- During the pandemic staying connected with people living in nursing homes and other forms of assisted living has not been easy.

“These families have just been disconnected for too long a period of time,” said Representative Stan Lambert.

To protect those who are highly vulnerable to the spread of the virus, visitation at assisted living facilities have been cancelled for months. Rep. Lambert is working alongside other public officials to make it easier for families to stick together during these troubling times.

“I think we can implement a plan that is still safe, that still makes sure we don’t spread or carry the virus into these facilities, but that we can do it in a very safe and responsible manner, and so that’s something I think we need to continue to work on,” said Rep. Lambert.

The in-person visitation plan proposed to the Health and Human Services Commission includes designating specific visiting areas, limiting the number of visits each day, and requiring family caregivers to provide negative COVID-19 test results.

“They don’t understand the virtual, and they don’t understand FaceTime, they don’t know why they’re not getting access and getting a chance to visit with their loved ones,” said Rep. Lambert.

Rep. Lambert says it is important to place an emphasis on mental health, especially when it comes to patients living with memory difficulties.

“These patients and these residents that are dealing with Dementia, with Alzheimer’s, they need that kind of holistic approach. It’s not just about the physical, it’s also about the emotional and the mental,” said Rep. Lambert.

With hospitals being overwhelmed with the increase in cases, some nursing homes have been using resources to address the needs of COVID patients.

“As long as they have the guidelines in place as far as social distancing, as far as wearing masks, as far as making sure there is not going to be a spread of the virus within these facilities, I think we can give them the opportunity to do that,” said Rep. Lambert.

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