Nursing Homes Work To Restore Visitation After Change in Guidelines

Wednesday, September 30th 2020, 10:41 pm
By: Barry Mangold

Care facilities in Oklahoma were issued new recommendations for conducting visitation this month, opening the door for in-person family visits for the first time in months. 

“It was just wonderful. It’s just thrilling,” said Bradford Village resident Melba Snider, when describing a recent visit with her son. 

Nursing homes and similar facilities across the state suspended visitation when the COVID-19 pandemic began to rise in the U.S. because of the higher risk patients and residents faced from the virus. 

MeLissa Wilson, the director of nursing at Bradford Village, said visitation is vital to prevent feelings of isolation. 

“Mental wellness is pivotal for healing,” she said. “It’s of the utmost importance to have that kind of connection and interaction with somebody. Without it, it’s just kind of hopeless.” 

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services issued updated guidelines for care facilities on Sept. 17, outlining conditions for conducting visitation, among other operations.  

“There’s nothing like family. It is just so great to get to be together again,” Snider said. 

Each facility determines its own visitation policy. Space, room layout and other aspects are considered when deciding how visitation could be conducted. 

At Bradford Village, staff are allowing outdoor visits in their private courtyard and indoor visits with a plastic divider between the parties. All visits are also appointment-only.