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Nursing facilities allowing one in-person visitor would help patient’s mental health | PennLive letters

Patriot-News - 10/26/2020

I would like to commend The Patriot-News and PennLive for highlighting the needs of those persons who are isolated in long term care facilities. One population that was not mentioned is that of those residents who are adults with developmental disabilities. Many of these people have decreased communication abilities and interact with loved ones optimally through close contact and touch.

Additionally, many have significant mental disabilities which impact on their ability to understand why their loved ones are missing from their current lives. Many may have aging parents who are concerned regarding their children’s welfare resulting in increased anxiety beyond the typical concerns of COVID.

I would hope that the Nursing Facilities in cooperation with the Pennsylvania State Department of Health, the State Department of Human Services and the Centers for Medicare Services find a solution to this problem. If the facility staff enter and exit on a daily basis why can’t one family member be designated to visit the person on a regular basis?

This family member would be required to follow the correct infectious disease protocols and use appropriate protective equipment. He or she could then participate in the resident’s care and be able to visit with their loved one in a more optimal fashion. This would be a solution to this troubling problem and could be used with all residents in long term care facilities.

Elizabeth Tuleya Knerr, Lower Paxton Township, Pa.


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