When a loved one lives in a personal care facility, it is important to visit regularly and show them how much they are loved. Spending time will brighten their day, and knowing loved ones are visiting provides the tenants something to look forward to. On the flip side, seniors living in a personal care facility can get lonely because they have limited contact with people outside of the nursing facility. By visiting, one can help keep them connected and remind them that they are not forgotten!

Some people may find it awkward or uncomfortable to visit a personal care facility because they do not know what to do or say. To eliminate those worries, here are some suggestions to help make the next personal care facility visit a fun and joyful experience. If visiting in person is not one’s personal preference, virtual visits are just as uplifting! Video chats and phone calls are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Ideas for The Next Visit to a Personal Care Facility

  1. Bring Along Games
    Bring some fun to the visit! Bring a board game, a puzzle, art project, or cards so they will have something fun to do with the older adult. A shared activity helps people bond and keeps everyone happily engaged. Young children can also bring items for “show and tell” so they can share what they are excited about with the individual at the personal care facility.
  2. Enjoy Music Together
    Music has a universal ability to boost mood, reduce agitation, and increase happiness and engagement. It is also a wonderful way to enjoy time with a family member or friend. When together, play a favorite song or set up a simple music player so they can listen anytime. Sit and listen together, have an impromptu sing-along, or listen as they reminisce over memories from younger days. If unsure about what music they enjoy, ask relatives or bring a selection of songs that came out when they were young and ask which they like the most.
  3. Reminisce Over Old Photos
    Looking at old photos or videos is a great way to spend time together and strengthen bonds. One never knows what stories or memories older adults will be inspired to share. Photos are also great conversation starters. Another fun project could include working on creating a family tree. Family trees are both fun and meaningful for individuals!
  4. Bring a Furry Friend Along
    Petting a dog or cat is a highly therapeutic activity. If a personal care facility allows one to bring your pet, and the individual is an animal lover, it is a great way to enjoy time with an animal. Research has shown that spending time with animals lowers stress levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. In the long-term, interacting with a pet can even lower cholesterol, prevent depression, and protect against heart disease and stroke.
  5. Eat a Meal or Snack Together
    People enjoy companionship when eating. Whether eating in the community dining room or going to a restaurant, sharing a meal is a way to bond with a loved one. If mealtime is not the right time for a visit, a snack is just as joyful. For example, bring a little “picnic” of crackers and cheese or something else that the individual likes.
  6. Get Some Fresh Air
    Going outside to get some fresh air is an excellent form of exercise. If there is not a suitable outside area, walking around inside the building is still a great activity and is good for one’s health.
  7. Take Them on Short Outings
    Going out can be a treat for someone living in a personal care facility. Whether they want to go to a religious service, a hair salon, a mall, or a museum, it is a great way to make the individual happy.
  8. Give a Massage or Manicure
    Many people in personal care facilities would benefit from the therapeutic effects of touch. In addition, depending on the relationship with the older adult, some pampering may be a great way to spend an afternoon. Bringing lightly scented lotion means one could give the older family member or friend a gentle hand massage. If one gets some tools, they could even have a manicure.
  9. Read Aloud
    Reading aloud is a great way to connect with someone and let them know how much they are loved without making a lot of conversation. It is ideal for bed-bound older adults and is not very responsive because of advanced health conditions or those with vision impairments.
  10. Watch a TV Show or Movie
    Watching a TV show or a movie with family and friends is a great way to share a connection without words. Activities such as this are a great way to spend time together and not be worried about conversation or awkwardness. If the individual in a personal care facility has a TV and internet/cable connection in their room, consider getting them a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime so they can easily watch their favorite movies.

For further information regarding this topic, please contact Mary and Martha’s Personal Care at (706) 866-7454 or visit them online at maryandmarthaspersonalcare.com.

AUGUST 18, 2021

Since taking office, President Biden has mobilized a whole-of-government effort to provide states and communities the support they need to fight COVID-19, get Americans vaccinated and end the pandemic. As we face the more transmissible Delta variant that is driving a rise in cases, particularly in communities with low vaccination rates, the Administration is announcing additional steps to ensure that we are staying ahead of the virus and getting more people vaccinated.

These steps include a plan for COVID-19 booster shots; new vaccination requirements for long-term care workers; a directive to ensure state and local leaders are providing students a safe return to in-person learning; and an extension of federal support for state, Tribal and territorial response efforts.

Today the President will highlight the following actions:

Planning to Offer COVID-19 Booster Shots Starting the Week of September 20: Today, public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a plan for administering booster shots later this fall, pending final Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluation and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Under this plan, a booster would be administered, eight months after an individual’s second dose, beginning the week of September 20—at which point those individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout will be eligible, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors.

Thanks to the aggressive actions the President has taken to secure enough vaccine supply for every American and dramatically increase the number of places to get a shot, it will be just as easy and convenient for a person to get their booster as it is for an unvaccinated American to get their first shot today. We will also continue to expand our efforts to send vaccines to other countries, building on the more than 600 million doses we have already committed to donate globally.

Requiring COVID-19 Vaccinations for Long-Term Care Workers Who Serve Medicare and Medicaid Enrollees.

Today, President Biden is announcing that HHS will develop new regulations requiring nursing homes to require that all of their workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Some states have already taken similar steps to protect nursing home residents, and this action will ensure consistent and equitable standards across the country. These new regulations would apply to nearly 15,000 nursing home facilities, which employ approximately 1.6 million workers and serve approximately 1.3 million nursing home residents.

Since the spread of the Delta variant, there has been a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, especially in those states that have low rates of vaccinated workers. Both CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data confirm a strong relationship between the increase of COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents and the rate of vaccination among nursing home workers.

Directing the Department of Education to Use All Available Tools to Safely Reopen Schools: Today, President Biden will issue a memorandum to the Secretary of Education directing him to use all available tools to ensure that governors and other officials are providing a safe return to in-person learning for the nation’s children. Students have experienced tremendous disruptions in their learning over the past two school years, but with increased access to vaccinations for school staff and students age 12 and older, proven disease prevention and mitigation strategies, and unprecedented resources from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), all schools can and should open safely this Fall for full-time, in-person learning. However, some state governments have adopted policies and laws that interfere with the ability of schools and districts to keep our children safe during in-person learning, with some going as far as to try to block school officials from adopting safety protocols aligned with recommendations from the CDC. State and local leaders must do everything they can to put student health and safety first and comply with their legal obligations to their communities. Today’s Presidential Memorandum will ensure the Department of Education is doing everything it can to prevent anything from standing in the way of local leaders and school leaders taking steps to keep all students safe in full-time, in-person learning, without compromising students’ health or the health of their families or communities.

Extending 100% federal reimbursement to states for eligible COVID-19 emergency response costs. President Biden will highlight that earlier this week he directed his Administration to continue to fully reimburse states for eligible COVID-19 emergency response costs—including emergency medical care, non-congregate sheltering and vaccination operations—through December 31, 2021. This extends the order the President issued on his second day in office directing Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to fully reimburse states for emergency response costs associated with COVID-19 from January 2020 to September 30, 2021. The extension, which was ordered yesterday, also allows states to receive retroactive 100 percent federal reimbursement for costs associated with the safe opening and operation of facilities, such as schools, health care facilities, and child care facilities—dating back to the start of the pandemic in January 2020.

Thanks in part to the ARP, the Administration has made available over $25 billion to support COVID-19 response, including more than $17 billion to support life-saving activities like emergency medical care, non-congregate sheltering, and emergency feeding, and nearly $6 billion to support and enhance vaccination operations. The extension will ensure states, Tribes, territories and localities continue to have the resources they need to fight the virus.

Extending 100% federal reimbursement to states for mobilizing National Guard personnel to support COVID-19 response efforts. President Biden will also highlight that his Administration will continue to fully reimburse states for governors’ deployments of the National Guard to support their COVID-19 response – through December 31, 2021. This extends the order the President issued on his second day in office directing FEMA to fully reimburse states for pandemic-related work performed by National Guard troops from January 20, 2020 through September 30, 2021.

Thanks in part to the ARP, the Biden Administration has already fully funded over 30,000 National Guard members who have supported vaccinations, direct patient care, contact tracing and testing, and food and PPE distribution in communities across the country. National Guard troops have played a key role in the pandemic response, and the extension will ensure states can continue to have these key personnel in place to support their response.

Personal care facilities have steadily returned to welcoming guests, permitting inhabitants to reconnect with their friends and family following quite a while of detachment.

Visits presently can not seem to get back to their pre-pandemic standards, especially for occupants and guests who have not yet been immunized. Temperature screenings, social separating and an accentuation on outside visits are standard convention at numerous offices. However, government authorities in March refreshed appearance proposals to ease limitations on indoor visits and to permit occupants to embrace or clasp hands with their friends and family without precedent for a year. In April, they opened the entryway for immunized inhabitants and guests to rejoin without wearing covers and without social separating. For some, that change implies a re-visitation of relative regularity without precedent for over a year.

In reporting the proposals, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) referred to far and wide immunization accessibility as one explanation that authorities accept that indoor, maskless visits will be more secure than in months past. Broadly, COVID-19 contaminations and passings in nursing homes have consistently fallen lately, and offices that get government assets through Medicare and Medicaid installments have finished a progression of antibody facilities overseen by a bureaucratic association with CVS, Walgreens and different drug stores. Specialists accept far and wide antibody accessibility has eased back the pandemic’s spread in nursing homes — however many recommend a level of group invulnerability is additionally a factor. More than 1.4 million long haul care inhabitants and staff have contracted COVID-19.

In any case, the government proposals aren’t commands. Also, paying little mind to an office’s immunization status, state arrangements fluctuate. There can be immense contrasts among offices even inside a similar state. A few states and personal care facilities expect guests to round out extra administrative work, to consent to appearance arrangements or to introduce negative COVID-19 test results before they enter the office. Others have additionally cut out rules for fundamental guardians, who can sidestep a portion of the limitations forced on different guests.

Some personal care facilities opened to guests more rapidly than others. In any case, direction for personal care facilities has been comparable at the government and state levels, and visiting admittance to personal care facilities likewise changes among states and even among facilities.

American personal care facilities have started to allow guests again following a time of agonizing and isolating lockdowns. The Biden administration recently released instructions permitting regular indoor visits. This is a significant change that comes as almost a hundred million Americans have been immunized, with a significant portion of those individuals residing in personal care facilities.

Indeed, even as the top of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned for the current seven day stretch of a potential fourth COVID flood, personal care facilities are so far holding constant, announcing significantly fewer cases since the beginning of inoculations.

Reunions inside personal care facilities offered an early gander at what numerous individuals may look like in attempting to return to typical life following a time of isolation. Yet the swinging open of the entryways have additionally uncovered new results of a pandemic that has killed in excess of 179,000 inhabitants and workers of long term personal care facilities and left numerous others wilting in segregation.

Personal care facilities have been a focus of the pandemic since the start, with 33% of transmissions having connections to one. Now they are offering an early look at what it may be like attempting to return to normal following a time of fear and isolation. Practically no facility is totally back to normal, and with COVID cases ticking up once more, some dread that even the restricted admittance could be halted.

Under government rules, one new case can briefly close down visitation in a personal care facility. However, visits may continue if a flare-up is contained. Up to this point, New York state rules necessitated that personal care facilities be COVID free for fourteen days prior to permitting guests. Regardless of the new rules, numerous inhabitants are as of yet not permitted to leave their facilities for expanded outings. Currently, personal autonomy seems to be a far off, and in many cases, lofty goal for personal care facility inhabitants. Only time, expanded inoculations and governmental oversight will indicate when this will change.

Specialists stress that a portion of the physical and intellectual changes experienced during the pandemic could become perpetual on the grounds that it is extraordinarily difficult for more seasoned individuals to recover strength in the wake of getting in shape or turning out to be bed-bound. The last year has been especially noteworthy for individuals with dementia, some of whom presently do not remember their relatives. While the visits bring harmony to many nursing home occupants who feared they would never see their families again, some are still sitting tight, waiting for something more: autonomy.

With most personal care inhabitants across the country having gotten their COVID-19 inoculations and new information showing a descending pattern in cases and passings, the government Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking states to ease limitations on in-person visits at personal care facilities. 

Here is key data about the subsequent stages toward rejoining with friends and family in long term healthcare facilities. 

When can I resume visiting my loved one in a personal care facility? 

State authorities have commonly followed CMS rules in confining or opening up guest admittance to personal care facilities. Sooner rather than later, you ought to be able to have the option to resume visits.  

The refreshed government direction — which came after AARP and different backers for more seasoned Americans approached the CMS to open up guest access — urges nursing homes to permit indoor appearance as a rule, regardless of whether the office or its local area are viewed as in flare-up status for COVID-19. There would be a couple of special cases — for instance, if the inhabitant you wish to see is contaminated, or if that individual has not been inoculated and the local area Covid spread in the encompassing region stays high. 

Forthcoming state selection of those rules, appearance keeps on relying generally upon whether there are dynamic COVID-19 cases in your loved one’s facility, and conceivably on case numbers in the encompassing local area. 

The CMS’s past rules, given in September 2020 and to a great extent received by the states, suggested permitting indoor visits if an office has been without cases for 14 days and is situated in a district with an inspiration rate on Covid trial of under 10%. For common sense purposes, that kept offices generally shut to guests as COVID-19 cases and passings flooded broadly in late 2020, inside and out of personal care facilities.

Where visits are permitted, they by and large should be by appointment and during indicated hours. In certain states, just a couple of individuals are permitted to visit a specific occupant at a time, and the general number of guests in an office at a given time is covered. Get some information about its own guidelines before you appear. 

Should not something be said about “humane consideration” visits? Would I be able to visit my loved one in such situations? 

The CMS is approaching states to permit indoor “humane consideration” visits in all conditions. From the get-go in the pandemic, this was broadly deciphered as of importance when a personal care occupant is close to the end of life. However, in its September direction, the CMS explained different circumstances steady with the aim of humane and empathetic consideration, for example, 

  1.  A recently conceded occupant is battling with the adjustment in climate and absence of actual family support.
  2.  An occupant is lamenting for an as of late expired companion or relative.
  3. An occupant needs inciting or consolation to eat or drink, help recently given by a friend or family member or other parental figure, and is encountering weight reduction or lack of hydration.
  4. An occupant is giving indications of overwhelming misery from separation; for instance, talking rarely or crying often.
  5. The CMS says that the rundown of situations is not intended to be comprehensive and that humane consideration visits ought not be restricted to relatives yet can be led by any person that can address the inhabitant’s issues, for example, ministry or lay people offering strict and otherworldly help.
  6. Various states, including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas, have embraced “fundamental parental figure” arrangements. Under these projects, nursing homes may permit more noteworthy access (for instance, longer and more successive visits) to an assigned relative or other individual who offers fundamental help to an occupant, for example, assist with day by day living exercises like eating, washing and preparing.
  7. Converse with your adored one’s office or your neighborhood long haul care ombudsman about masterminding merciful consideration visits.

What sorts of wellbeing checks do nursing homes run on guests? 

As it has all through the pandemic, the CMS keeps on suggesting “screening of all who enter the office for signs and side effects of COVID-19,” including: 

  1. Checking guests’ temperatures,
  2. Interrogating them regarding indications and possible openness, and 
  3. Noticing them for any indications or indications of contamination. 

Passage would be denied to any individual who has had close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual in the past 14 days. 

The rules do not need nursing homes to test guests for COVID-19. Yet, they do propose that offices in zones with medium or high COVID-19 transmission rates offer tests nearby where practical or urge guests to get tried all alone, so that individuals who are contaminated yet asymptomatic don’t unconsciously taint others. 

Will I need to wear a cover and stay 6 feet from my loved one? 

In all likelihood, face-coverings will stay one of the “center standards” for forestalling new nursing home episodes recorded in the government rules and is a staple of state-level guidelines for continuing appearance. 

The new government direction suggests that offices permit some actual contact among occupants and friends and family, like embracing and clasping hands, if the inhabitant has been completely inoculated and the guest is concealed. Guests ought to stay at any rate 6 feet from different inhabitants and staff. 

To keep up separating as per state and government rules, personal care facilities are for the most part: 

  1. restricting guests’ developments inside an office, expecting them to go straightforwardly to their cherished one’s room or an assigned visiting region; 
  2. expecting visits to be planned for advance;
  3. allowing visits just during select hours; and
  4. managing the quantity of individuals who can visit an inhabitant, and the general number of guests on location, at some random time. 

How else would I be able to deal with and limit dangers to occupants? 

Consider getting a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether the office or your state requires it. 

Another alternative is to make a few visits virtual. Videoconferencing and visit stages like Zoom, Skype and FaceTime have provided help for occupants and families during the pandemic, and proceeding to utilize them now and again even after lockdowns lift can limit openings for ailments to spread.


The COVID-19 pandemic has made it remarkably difficult for families to keep in contact with senior friends and family. Individuals who are 65 years of age or older, or who live in senior care facilities, have been recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as high-hazard for the infection. For most families, protecting senior friends and family from disease implies doing so without face-to-face visits and finding alternative approaches to associate with one another.

Fortunately, there are more assets accessible than any other time to help families stay close even while socially distancing. Following are some suggestions for protected and imaginative approaches to remain close with senior friends and family during this difficult time.

  1. Make video calling simple

Apparatuses like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp permit families to communicate effectively through video calls. The majority of these applications and stages are free to download. FaceTime video calling comes standard with iPhones, while Skype and Zoom offer free video conferencing on an assortment of gadgets.  Furthermore, WhatsApp is a free video calling and communication application that can be used with Androids or iOS.

With all of these various choices, it can be confusing or difficult to know which one should be used when communicating with your senior loved one.  To make it simpler, let your senior relative’s necessities function as a  guide. The best applications tend to be those that are easy to utilize and that are free for friends and family.  On the off chance that your senior already has a cell phone, tablet or PC, speaking via a video chat may be the least demanding choice. If your senior has already been utilizing a specific application, feel free to proceed with that.

  1. Plan a window visit

You have probably seen viral photographs of “window visits” individuals are having with senior relatives at their homes or outside of their senior care facilities.. During these visits, relatives stay outside, yet they talk with their loved one on the telephone or carry handcrafted signs with messages. It seems considerably more like an ordinary visit when seniors can see their friends and family, even if it’s only through a window.

Notwithstanding window visits, families are additionally putting a social separating turn on different sorts of house calls. For example, friends and family may sit on their patio and loved ones sit on a folding chair in the yard far away and visit that way, or from a vehicle.

  1. Take a virtual get-away

Certainly, most retreats, exhibition halls and other fun places are shut to general society. Nevertheless, you and your senior loved one can investigate the world together from the security of your own home. For instance, why not call them and take a visit through an online historical center together?

You can experience free online virtual voyages through Yellowstone National Park, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Louver in Paris and even Mars. However long your senior cherished one has access to a savvy gadget, they will have the option to visit with you through your desired web application.

  1. Rediscover snail mail

Putting a letter in the mail is still a viable alternative, and it can give anybody a passionate lift to get a card, letter or blessing via the post office.

Consider sending letters consistently, and  utilize snail mail as an approach to inform friends and family of unique or informative events when you can not all physically be together.

All things considered, the CDC likewise suggests that everybody wash hands with cleanser and water for at least twenty seconds or utilize a hand sanitizer containing sixty percent alcohol before sending out or receiving mail.

  1. Enroll guardians’ assistance

On the off chance that your senior loved one has restricted capacities or lives in a senior care home, see how on-site staff can assist them in keeping in contact.  For example, numerous facilities are purchasing tablets and having staff take them to inhabitants’ rooms intermittently to video visit with their families.  This is especially significant for occupants who can not participate in such functions without the assistance of someone else.

In case you are going the non-electronic course, staff at senior care facilities can likewise be approached to help with letters and cards so your cherished one can furnish you with regular updates.

  1. Utilize the telephone, and do so twice as regularly

The telephone still works, and hearing from family and friends can make a big difference in a senior’s day.  Consider increasing the number of calls you make to loved ones who are isolated.

Reaching out to loved ones via social media or the telephone is crucial, as social isolation can lead to hypertension, coronary illness, weight gain, anxiety, and dementia.

Staying in touch with friends and family who are in senior care facilities during COVID-19 can be challenging, but with the applications available today, a little effort can certainly go a long way.