Separation Anxiety

How long is too long without a loved one’s visit? An Operator’s Challenge. Nursing homes and CCRC’s are in the midst of a balancing act/ tug of war… adhering to the CMS / State guidelines on strict limitation for visitors and that of a person’s desire to interact with those closest to their heart. The safety of an at-risk population is of the upmost importance; however, love and interaction with a spouse or loved one could be a person’s strongest desire. If we take away face-to-face visits with a loved one, how severe will the mental and emotional impact be for the resident?

This is equally true for a spouse or residents’ child. Communities are implementing ‘window visits’ -visits through a glass door or window using a cell phone to talk with their visitor. Some are allowing patio visits, where the resident and visitor are socially distanced and wearing a mask. The creativity of an operator could not be more important during these challenging times. I have had friends’ comment, “going several months without visiting my parents would not be an option for me. I would pull them out of the facility or walk right through the front door.” Now, we can all ‘talk big’ from time to time; however, does this remind us of just how powerful our desire is to spend time with family? (or maybe this thought of a strong desire for family could be questioned after a loud Thanksgiving meal with family and in-laws, haha). Operators are tackling this challenge.

Check out this article to learn how some communities are finding success in doing so:
Written by James Souter IV, LNHA Executive Director of King’s Grant Retirement Community