BOSTON (SHNS) – Expect details late next week from Gov. Charlie Baker about how long-term care facilities might be able to accommodate visits or interactions between residents and loved ones even as the weather turns cold and the outdoor visits that have become a lifeline for many must end.
“I’ve seen my dad maybe three times in the course of the past five months,” Baker said Thursday. The governor has spoken about his father, who is in his 90s and lives in a long-term care setting, and the emotions of not being able to visit him at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple times in recent months.
“I have a very personal appreciation for the difficulty associated with keeping seniors safe and the challenges associated with that. I do think outdoor visitation has been a big win, based on the feedback that we’ve gotten, and we’ve been talking to folks in the industry and folks in the public health world about how to create further opportunities for engagement, recognizing you can’t stay outdoors given the changing nature of the weather,” Baker said during his Thursday press conference.
Since June, residents of nursing homes, rest homes, and assisted living facilities have been able to receive guests during pre-scheduled outdoor visits conducted under specific guidelines.
The governor suggested Thursday that a cold-weather plan is in the works. “I fully expect I’ll have more to say about that in about a week.”