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NH Nursing Homes Begin Allowing In-Person Visits

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New Hampshire started allowing outdoor nursing-home visits in June but now is permitting indoor visits again. (Borya/Flickr)
New Hampshire started allowing outdoor nursing-home visits in June but now is permitting indoor visits again. (Borya/Flickr)
July 15, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. -- Long-term care facilities in New Hampshire are starting to allow in-person visits again.

While nursing homes have reduced their COVID-19 infection rates, close to 80% of the deaths New Hampshire has seen from the coronavirus have been among residents of long-term care facilities -- the second-highest share of these deaths in any state, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data.

AARP statedirector Todd Fahey said caregivers can prepare for in-person visits by first asking those who run the facility exactly what they're doing to make it safe enough to allow visits.

"We really want people to understand some questions they can ask," he said, "to empower themselves, to care for their loved ones, and to frankly be mindful of the staff, too, in these facilities."

Fahey suggested seeing if the facility is following the federal recommendations from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about long-term facility visits. Other key questions include asking what kinds of visitor health checks are required, what types of protective gear is in place, and what the facility is doing to minimize risk.

Fahey described some of the expected visiting restrictions.

"There may well be limits for how long you can see a loved one," he said, "and distancing rules will likely be in place."

He said facilities will have different guidelines about where people can meet and how many visitors are allowed.

AARP has more tips on visiting nursing homes
here and here.

Disclosure: AARP New Hampshire contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - NH