Many stood by feeling helpless as elderly parents or loved ones living in elder care facilities suffered from a lack of family contact. Without an attentive child or spouse to visit, some who did not contract the COVID-19 virus suffered in other ways. There were reports of residents not eating enough, not understanding why they could not have visitors, and just about all of them felt lonely or isolated without family contact.
Now the governor has announced some new relief to this issue by allowing two “essential family caregivers” to enter senior care facilities for scheduled visits. They will be screened for the COVID virus 14 days before the first visit. The caregivers will also be trained to follow specific safety protocols for not spreading the virus, including using personal protective equipment. Only one visitor will be allowed per visit. The essential caregiver status will be chosen by the senior resident or their legal guardian.
There will be indoor and outdoor visitation that will employ plexiglass barriers at sites with COVID isolation units for those seniors who test positive. COVID-free residents not in isolation will be allowed to see caregivers outside or in COVID-free areas of the facility.
Pay attention to conditions
Loved ones lucky enough to visit should note anything that they feel unnecessarily endangers the elderly or if the resident suffers from poor treatment by the staff. Essential caregivers may need to consult with an attorney who represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Texas.