COVID vaccines are rolling out to nursing homes across the country, signaling the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Once your loved one has had both doses of the vaccine, you may be able to visit them, but precautions are still necessary. In today’s post, we will answer some preliminary questions regarding visiting nursing home residents after they are vaccinated. Read on to learn more, and get in touch with The Wheeler Firm for elder law services in Okaloosa and Walton County.
Recently, the federal government entered into a partnership with CVS and Walgreens to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to nursing home residents — a population that has a high-priority for being vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The pharmacy companies began administering vaccines in 12 states in mid-December and will expand to 36 states before the year’s end. Both the Pfizer the Moderna vaccines require two shots, administered three or four weeks apart.
Restrictions on nursing home visitors vary from state to state, with some states limiting them and others allowing more visitation. Currently, the CDC recommends that nursing homes allow indoor visitors if the facility has had no COVID cases for 14 days. Once vaccines have been distributed, restrictions may ease further.
Experts recommend that, to be safe, you should wait until two weeks after your loved one gets the second dose of the vaccine before visiting. The safest time to visit would be after all the residents and staff have been vaccinated and you have received the vaccine as well. Even if you and your loved one are vaccinated, you should still wear a mask when visiting a loved one of advanced age or with high-risk conditions.
Noting that the vast majority of older adults with chronic conditions live at home, long-term care consultant Howard Gleckman asserts that these vulnerable adults, along with their caregivers, should also be vaccinated as soon as possible. As states distribute initial supplies of the vaccine, Gleckman says, “they should remember the millions of people who are at high risk of severe illness or death from the virus, but who are living at home.”
We at The Wheeler Firm, P.A. routinely assist elderly individuals and their caregivers with estate planning, guardianship, and Medicaid planning. If you need assistance for yourself or your loved one, contact us today or call our office at (850) 613-6923.