Nursing Home Visitation

South Carolina nursing homes are still not prepared to handle visitors in nursing homes. Some parts of South Carolina have reopened movie theaters and concert venues. Long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, remain on McMaster’s “restrictions” list. Many families with loved ones in nursing homes do not understand the distinction or the danger. Critics and idiots who do not understand the risk to nursing home residents are demanding the governor allow the facilities to determine the safest way to visit.

Families believe the biggest threat to health during this pandemic isn’t the virus itself, but loneliness and isolation. Most are tired of waiting for something to change. It has been almost 6 months since many of them saw their mothers, fathers and grandparents.

Just a week ago, DHEC released guidelines on how nursing homes should create a safe environment. The guidelines allow visitations in nursing home facilities. The key is providing COVID-19 testing for employees and residents inside the homes. Therefore, without adequate testing, McMaster will not and cannot safely allow visitation.

It is a difficult Catch-22.  On the one hand, residents need and want visitation. But visitation is unsafe and may lead to premature and wrongful deaths.  Should nursing homes remove restrictions and allow family visitors?