During the holidays we know friends and family are looking forward to spending time with residents and visiting safely. Measures such as getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccines, wearing masks and socially distancing are important because many residents are at higher risk or are immunocompromised. Here are a few tips to help you safely visit loved ones during the holidays:
- Scatter visits: We suggest planning your visit before or after the “rush” of the holiday. When you visit a few days before or after the holiday, you may have fewer people to encounter and enjoy a more relaxed visit.
- Small group visits: Due to space constraints in resident rooms/apartments and the number of people permitted in an area, we recommend one or two family members visit their loved one in their home at a time and spread visits out over a few days rather than all at once. Residents love to have visitors scheduled throughout the season and look forward to extra visits.
- Physically distance: Center the visit around something other than food so that residents and family can continue to wear masks and safely distance themselves. Avoid activities that make it hard to stay six feet apart.
- Younger visitors: If a family member is younger than two years old or cannot wear a mask, limit visits with unvaccinated people or whose vaccination status is unknown. Keep distance between your child and other people in public.
- Traveling visitors: If traveling then planning to visit a community, please take extra precautions (masks, hand washing/sanitizing, distancing) in airports or rest stops, even if you’re vaccinated.
- Monitor your health status: If any family member is feeling unwell, shows signs or symptoms or has been around anyone ill, please refrain from visiting in person. We are still more than happy to assist residents with virtual visits with friends and family.
The majority of UCH residents are vaccinated and we are holding COVID-19 booster clinics in our communities for residents and staff; however, vaccines are only part of the solution. Family and friends can do their part to ensure residents remain happy and healthy by protecting themselves first. “This means washing our hands, covering our nose and mouth with a mask, avoiding crowds, practicing safe distancing, and most importantly, getting vaccinated,” shared Patti Klingel, Executive Director of Compliance and Clinical Services at United Church Homes. “This virus does not discern, and it will not take a break just because of the holidays.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its recommendations for celebrating the holidays safely. Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html
Click here for the latest United Church Homes guidelines for visitation.