Update On Visitation Inside Senior Facilities In Florida During The Pandemic
By Shannon Miller, Founder
The New October 22, 2020 DeSantis Executive Order on Facility Access To Loved Ones appears to take into account the CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Guidelines of September 17, 2020 in order to increase access for ALL facilities in Florida.
Compassionate Care Provider
In the Governor’s new order, eliminates “essential caregiver” status and incorporates “compassionate care provider” from the CMS guidelines to create very broad access with important safety precautions to see our special people and be able to give them the essential hug. We like to call this Order the “Granny Hugging Order”
Under the Order, compassionate care providers are:
- Provided physical contact with their loved ones.
- Must be allowed access regardless of positivity rates in the facility.
- Must be allowed to visit during normal visiting hours and on nights and weekends.
- Must be permitted to visit privately with residents.
These important compassionate care providers must wear a surgical mask and PPE equipment; but no social distancing is required.
Who is a compassionate care provider? From the Governor’s October 22, 2020 Executive Order compassionate care providers:
Provide support, including emotional support, to help residents deal with difficult transition or loss, upsetting events, end of live situations, significant changes (such as resident admissions to the facility), the need for assistance, cueing or encouraging with eating or drinking, or emotional distress or decline.
Steps If You Are Denied Access
If you are having trouble accessing a loved one in assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing or independent living facilities, first contact the Department of Elder Affairs and look up your region’s ombudsman. They have been extraordinarily helpful in helping people get in touch with their loved ones.
If you are still denied access, contact the Agency for Health Care Administration to submit a complaint and get the solution that you seek. If that fails, call us! We can advocate for you directly to the facility– your special loved one needs your hugs!