Late last week, Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced revised guidelines for nursing home visitation. These new protocols once again allow families to visit loved ones in care facilities, while also keeping everyone as safe as possible.
All residents of care homes and nursing facilities in PA can once again have families come visit under these revised guidelines.
Although mask wearing and social distancing are still required in all facilities, fully vaccinated residents can have close contact visits, and those are super important according the Director of the Centre County Office on Aging, Ken Pendleton.
“it’s truly a basic human need to belong and have significance, and to have connection to your family,” Pendleton said. “That is the most basic unit of our society.”
The Owner and Administrator of Wynwood Personal Care Homes, Vincent Romanini, says this is a huge step in the right direction, even with some hesitation.
“I think it’s outstanding. It’s the direction we need to go,” Romanini said. “I believe the individuals in our field that run personal care, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, do we all probably have a sense of hesitation? Uh yeah, sure, we have that but at the same time, we know that our industry will not succeed and will not come back if we don’t have the individuals coming in to visit their loved ones, and it’s a necessity.”
Just how necessary is it? Pendleton says to really look into the mirror.
“One of the ways to think about this is just think in terms of yourself,” he said. “What if suddenly you were isolated, living at home, not able really to get out of your home and your family wasn’t able to come see you, and you had no distractions like work; you’re retired? The silence within your home becomes deafening.”
Both Pendleton and Romanini say this is for the best for residents of nursing and care homes across Pennsylvania.