We want to visit our loved ones when they are in nursing homes and other facilities and these visits are crucial to maintain their emotional and physical health. We miss them and they miss us.
The following information on how to visit our loved ones in nursing homes and other facilities in Florida is based on the latest Order from Gov. DeSantis and CMS guidelines. In short, you are entitled to visitation if you are a Compassionate Care Visitor (CCV). (Different rules apply to General Visitors.)
A Compassionate Care Visitor has a very broad definition.
If you meet any of the statements above, you are a “CCV”. You do not have to be all three and you do not have to be included in a care or service plan, but that would be preferable.
You should contact the facility at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment to visit your loved one and tell the facility that you are a Compassionate Care Visitor. Facilities are strained regarding staff and even though you are a CCV entitled to visit, you need to phone ahead and make an appointment since the facility must have sufficient staff during your visit.
The general guidelines for a CCV visit are:
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration provided the following Emergency Order 20-011 Questions & Answers.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COMPASSIONATE CARE VISITOR AND A GENERAL VISITOR?
Compassionate Care Visitors are those who visit to assist with a difficult time or event for a resident, and those who provide assistance and support including emotional support to a resident (similar to what was allowed for Essential Caregivers under the prior rule). Compassionate Care Visitors are generally close family members or friends of the resident.
Examples of a General Visitors may be a friend or family member who visits occasionally, young children or grandchildren accompanied by adults, an out-of-town visitor, or clergy (other than for end of life visits or other circumstances which qualify as compassionate care).
ARE FACILITIES REQUIRED TO ALLOW COMPASSIONATE CARE VISITORS?
Facilities must allow the entry of CCVs who meet the requirements stated above. CCVs are not required to be addressed in the resident care plan or service plan.
HOW DOES AN INDIVIDUAL BECOME A RECOGNIZED CCV? MUST THEY REGISTER WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH) OR AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE ADMINSITRATION (AHCA)?
CCVs should discuss their interest with the facility for visitation during a resident’s difficult situation or to provide support, including emotional support. CCVs work directly with the facility and do not have to register with DOH or AHCA.
CAN A FACILITY LIMIT THE LENGTH OF TIME OF A COMPASSIONATE CARE VISITOR’S VISIT?
Facilities must schedule visitor time and be able to manage visitors in a fair manner for all residents. Although the Order does not create a maximum visit length, facilities and CCVs should work together to establish a reasonable visit length to accommodate the services provided, while recognizing the facility’s responsibility to manage visitation.