Some County Long Term Care Facilities Offering Indoor Visitation

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:56 PM EST
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - For many families and residents at long term care facilities, the pandemic has made visitation almost impossible.

For some facilities like Madigan Estates in Houlton, family members and residents have been able to reunite and visit with one another.

Maine CDC guidelines allow indoor visitation based on community transmission rates and outbreak status within the facility.

“We’re allowing two family members at a time to visit with the residents for approximately 20 mins,” Tiffany Bates said. “That allows for us to disinfect the area between the groups of people that are coming in as well as the residents who are coming to the lobby.”

Tiffany Bates, Director of Nursing, says masks are required and families will need to socially distance when in the facility. Physical contact is still not allowed.

“They want to touch their loved ones,” Bates adds. “They want to hug them and kiss them. But unfortunately, that is one of the rules we have to keep strictly enforced. We do supervise the visits for that reason.”

Presque Isle and Caribou Rehab and Nursing facilities have also started indoor visits in a limited and controlled setting. Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC says they must evaluate data before updating guidelines.

“What we’ve been doing is working with one of our sister agencies to evaluate the data around the safety of moving back toward some of those visitations as well as other activities,” Dr. Shah said. “We know how important they are to making sure that those who work there, those who live there don’t lose that social connection.”

“I know our staff are happy to see the looks on the residents faces when the family members are able to come in,” Bates said. “They seem happier after they’ve seen their loved ones.”

And that happiness is felt not just amongst the residents, but their families and the staff.

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