CMS Updated Guidance on Nursing Home Visitation

CMS is providing clarification to recent guidance for visitation (see CMS memorandum QSO-20-39- NH REVISED 11/12/2021). While CMS cannot address every aspect of visitation that may occur, we provide additional details about certain scenarios below. However, the bottom line is visitation must  be permitted at all times with very limited and rare exceptions, in accordance with residents’ rights.  In short, nursing homes should enable visitation following these three key points:  

• Adhere to the core principles of infection prevention, especially wearing a mask, performing hand hygiene, and practicing physical distancing; 

• Don’t have large gatherings where physical distancing cannot be maintained; and

• Work with your state or local health department when an outbreak occurs. 

States may instruct nursing homes to take additional measures to make visitation safer, while  ensuring visitation can still occur. This includes requiring that, during visits, residents and visitors  wear masks that are well-fitting, and preferably those with better protection, such as surgical masks  or KN95. States should work with CMS on specific actions related to additional measures they are  considering. 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

Message from SWG’s Executive Director:

Today, June 15, 2020 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). WEAAD was launched on June 15, 2006, by the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of elder mistreatment by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic factors that drive and influence elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.This annual day of recognition focuses global society’s attention on the need for all people to take responsibility for preventing and aggressively advocating for elimination of elder abuse in all of its forms. According to the American Society on Aging, each year in the U.S., an estimated 5 million older persons are abused, neglected and exploited. Older adults in America lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that are desperately needed to pay for basics such as housing, food and medical care. And it is estimated that only about one in five of those crimes are ever reported. Certainly as we know, every older adult in each community in the U.S. and around the world has the right to be free of such abuse and treated with respect and dignity.As we continue to address the most seriousissues of racism and police brutality against African-Americans in U.S. Society, along with the great impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic crisis, we all want to do our part to spread the word about this matter of world-wide elder abuse and its vital importance!

Thank you for reading,

Dr. Greg Kotlarz

Coping with the Stressful Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Licensed Psychologist and Executive Director of Seniors Wellness Group, Dr. Gregory Kotlarz, talks about ways to cope with the stressful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially healthcare workers from the LTC community

There are a few links shown below for the use of on-line tools and apps to help you learn active relaxation exercises and mindfulness approaches for stress management. Such approaches are well established in evidence-based science for managing stress and the support of mental and physical health, along with bolstering one’s immune response.

Creative design from the South

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