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Coronavirus prompts some nursing homes to get creative for visitors

SOME NURSING HOMES ARE ALLOWING IN-PERSON VISITS. >> ON MY DRIVE UP HERE, I WAS, LIKE, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HER. REPORTER: MONTHS AFTER NURSING HOPES BANNED FAMILIES FROM VISITING TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS, SHE CAN VISIT HER MOTHER. BEFORE THE VISIT PLENTY OF PRECAUTIONS. SIGNS EVERYWHERE REMIND VISITORS ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING MASKS. AFTER A TEMPERATURE CHECK SHE WAITS ON THE PATIO FOR THEM TO BRING HER MOTHER OUT. HOW DID IT GO? >> SHE HAD A BIG SMILE ON HER FACE. EVEN THOUGH I COULDN’T HUG HER, IT WAS WONDERFUL. >> THIS NURSING HOME BEGAN PATIO VISITATIONS IN AUGUST. >> AFTER BEING APART FOR SONG. REPORTER: SHE SAYS COVID HAS MADE IT CHALLENGING TO KEEP FAMILIES CONNECTED. THESE VISITS ARE IMPORTANT, BECAUSE THEY HELP RESIDENTS. >> I THINK PROBABLY THRIVE IS THE BEST WORD WE CAN USE. REPORTER: VISITS ARE SCHEDULED A WEEK IN ADVANCE AND LASTS 30 MINUTES. ACCORDING TO THE HEALTH FACILITIES OF MARYLAND APPROXIMATELY 65 NURSING HOMES IN-PERSON VISITS. SOME STILL OPT FOR A GLASS DOOR VISIT ESPECIALLY ON CHILLY DAYS BUT THEY ARE CONSIDERING BUYING HEATERS TO WARM THE PATIO AREA. SHE SAYS THE PRECAUTIONS ARE NECESSARY BUT THEY HELP HER SEE HER MOTHER. >> I TOLD HER MY OTHER SIBLINGS ARE GOING TO COME TO SEE HER AS WELL. SHE SAID YES, I LOVE THESE VISITS. REPORTER: THEY ARE HOPING THEY CAN ALLOW INDOOR IN-PERSON VISITS AGAIN. REPORTIN

Some nursing homes get creative to reconnect visitors with loved ones amid pandemic


The coronavirus abruptly ended family visits to nursing homes, but now, some facilities are allowing families to reconnect with loved ones with in-person visits.|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||The anticipation is over. Months after nursing homes banned family members from making visits to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, Lisa Bankins can again visit her mother at The Village at Augsburg in Lochearn, Baltimore County.”On my drive up here, I was like, I can’t wait to see her,” Bankins said.There were plenty of precautions observed before the visit. There are signs posted everywhere that remind visitors about social distancing and wearing masks.After a temperature check, Bankins waited on the patio for staff to bring her mother outside. Bankins spoke with 11 News after she and her mother were reunited.”She had a big smile on her face when she saw me, and I was actually smiling, too. Even though I couldn’t hug her, it was fine. It was wonderful,” Bankins said.The nursing home began patio visitations in late August.”(It’s) really joyous to have those reunions together after being apart for so long,” said Allison Combs, with National Lutheran Communities and Services.Combs said the coronavirus has made it challenging to keep families connected, and the patio visits are important because they help residents.”I think probably thrive is the best word we can use,” Combs said.Visits are scheduled a week in advance and last 30 minutes. The staff handles between six to 10 visits per day, cleaning and sanitizing between each one.According to the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, approximately 65 nursing homes in the state are now allowing in-person visits.Some nursing home residents still opt for glass-door visits, especially on chilly days. The Village at Augsburg is considering buying heaters to warm the patio area.Bankins said all of the protocols are necessary because they help her see her mother.”I told her my other siblings will come see her, and she said, ‘I love these visits. I love seeing you.’ And we feel the same way,” Bankins said.The nursing homes hope to eventually, once again, have indoor visits. They are waiting for federal, state and local guidelines for that to happen.

The coronavirus abruptly ended family visits to nursing homes, but now, some facilities are allowing families to reconnect with loved ones with in-person visits.

|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||

The anticipation is over. Months after nursing homes banned family members from making visits to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, Lisa Bankins can again visit her mother at The Village at Augsburg in Lochearn, Baltimore County.

“On my drive up here, I was like, I can’t wait to see her,” Bankins said.

There were plenty of precautions observed before the visit. There are signs posted everywhere that remind visitors about social distancing and wearing masks.

After a temperature check, Bankins waited on the patio for staff to bring her mother outside. Bankins spoke with 11 News after she and her mother were reunited.

“She had a big smile on her face when she saw me, and I was actually smiling, too. Even though I couldn’t hug her, it was fine. It was wonderful,” Bankins said.

The nursing home began patio visitations in late August.

“(It’s) really joyous to have those reunions together after being apart for so long,” said Allison Combs, with National Lutheran Communities and Services.

Combs said the coronavirus has made it challenging to keep families connected, and the patio visits are important because they help residents.

“I think probably thrive is the best word we can use,” Combs said.

Visits are scheduled a week in advance and last 30 minutes. The staff handles between six to 10 visits per day, cleaning and sanitizing between each one.

According to the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, approximately 65 nursing homes in the state are now allowing in-person visits.

Some nursing home residents still opt for glass-door visits, especially on chilly days. The Village at Augsburg is considering buying heaters to warm the patio area.

Bankins said all of the protocols are necessary because they help her see her mother.

“I told her my other siblings will come see her, and she said, ‘I love these visits. I love seeing you.’ And we feel the same way,” Bankins said.

The nursing homes hope to eventually, once again, have indoor visits. They are waiting for federal, state and local guidelines for that to happen.

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