A little over a year after visitor restrictions were put into place as one measure to help protect residents from COVID-19, Brookdale communities across the country are now able to lift those restrictions to allow both outdoor AND indoor visits, subject to specific state guidance.
The applicable state regulatory agencies in the 43 states in which Brookdale operates have adapted guidance to align with the recently updated protocols from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and/or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allowing assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities to loosen restrictions on visits. Assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing communities that meet the state-specific requirements are beginning to let families and loved ones in for visits again! Independent living communities that are not licensed by the state but which had restricted visits as a measure of protection have also lifted visit restrictions.
Brookdale President and Chief Executive Officer Lucinda “Cindy” Baier was pleased that more families can start to join their loved ones in their communities again. “Brookdale has worked hard to keep our residents engaged and connected with their families, even when visits were not possible, by increasing use of technology and employing new ideas such as window visits and car parades. But there is no substitute for an actual visit with loved ones right inside a Brookdale community, our residents’ home. We are thrilled to see families again connecting in person.” We’re excited to move into this next phase, guided by the CDC, CMS, and the applicable state health authorities.”
States such as Rhode Island, Washington and Florida have already been able to schedule families for indoor visits. In some states, state health departments have updated guidance to allow for “brief contact.”
The week that Brookdale West Bay in Rhode Island resumed in-person visits, the state released new guidance allowing for hugs. Resident Hazel Slocum was left speechless when she got to hug her son and daughter-in-law, Phil and Lauren. “You done great kid,” said Phil as he hugged his mother for the first time in a year. Their story, and others, can be seen on this episode of NBC Dateline.
In Washington, in-person visits resumed at Brookdale West Seattle on March 22, 2021. Adrienne Gregory’s daughter was able to visit for three hours and they were able to hug for the first time since March. Gregory remarked how “it felt good to be together again.”