As we continue to plod through the pandemic and struggle to spend time with, oversee, and advocate for our clients and loved ones, the question of compassionate care visits for people who live in senior living facilities is critical. Please take a little time to research what CMS (Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services) defines as a compassionate care visit for someone in a facility during the pandemic. We have also included a recommendation report here to help better guide you if you think that your loved one, your client, or your patient might qualify as someone who could receive a compassionate care visit.

Essentially, if someone is living in a facility and they are showing marked deterioration, struggling to adapt well, significant weight loss, or behaviors that need an extra layer of support, they might qualify for a compassionate care visit. It might be that you, as a family member or a professional, are able to work with the facility to be allowed to visit either inside the community or in a non-traditional way in order to meet the elderly person’s needs. For instance, one of our own staff member’s mothers lives in a memory care community and their family is allowed to visit with her outside or in a designated area inside the building if the weather is inclement while wearing a mask, but it does not have to be socially distanced because that is emotionally traumatic for their loved one. This family member has lost a significant amount of weight since entering Memory Care in June 2020, and therefore she meets one of the criteria for compassionate care visits. The staff member and her mother can be side by side while they walk around the building together and hold hands while wearing gloves. The idea is that their loved one cannot sit and carry on a conversation, nor stare at them for 30 minutes during a socially distanced visit, but rather that their loved one needs to be side by side with them or touch them briefly as opposed to a long, drawn out “visit.”

Please check out this link to a recommendations report regarding Compassionate Care Visits.