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Nursing home visits to be allowed from tomorrow - Here's what to expect

By Sarah Finnan

June 14, 2020 at 10:07am

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Nursing home visits are set to resume from tomorrow with strict measures in place to ensure for the safety of residents, staff and visitors alike.

Visits to nursing homes and residential facilities are set to resume from tomorrow, in line with the Government's roadmap for the easing of restrictions. Limited visits will be allowed from tomorrow with strict protocol in place as to who can visit and for how long.

Visitors will be required to wear face coverings and undergo a health screen check ahead of time, with many facilities only permitting outdoor visits for now. Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Diarmuid O'Dálaigh, proprietor of Oaklodge Nursing Home in Co. Cork, said:

"The family has to nominate two persons who can visit separately, and then those people have to undertake a health screening check to make sure they’re safe and aren’t bringing any risk into residents.

“I’m sure every nursing home up and down the country will be extremely careful, but we’re keeping to outside visiting only for the next period of time - until such time as we’re really, really sure."

A document containing guidance from the Department of Health on nursing home visits details exactly what to expect going forward.  The document states that though the importance of maintaining family connections with loved ones "cannot be underestimated", visits are at the discretion of each individual care home as it's their responsibility to ensure that visitations do not compromise overall resident care.

With nursing homes having been closed to visitors since mid-March, the news that visits will be allowed to resume has proven to be a great source of comfort to residents - most of whom have not been allowed to see family or friends in several months. However, it's important to note that visits will only be allowed in nursing homes that have been Covid-free for a minimum of at least 28 days.

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