Nursing Homes Ready To Help Residents Communicate With Family Members

Many nursing homes are not allowing visitors to protect vulnerable residents against coronavirus.

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Debby Erickson of Homewood is used to visiting her husband, Donald, every day at his nursing home, but she must put those visits on hold as nursing homes across the nation limit visitors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"Sometimes I have to help cut up the food or do stuff like that and I usually get him ready for bed," Erickson said. "I understand that we should take precautions, but this kind of came like all of a sudden and I don't know how long it's gonna last."

During his speech to the nation Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump advised nursing homes for the elderly suspend all medically unnecessary visits.

John Vrba, CEO of Burgess Square Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre in Westmont, said if there is a medically necessary visit, that person would be assessed by a nurse and have their temperature taken.

"We're all in this together, and we cannot allow visitors to put our seniors at risk," Vrba said.

However, Vrba said the facility will be helping residents stay in contact with family members via phone, Skype or FaceTime.

"We''re texting and emailing and calling and doing everything possible to alleviate the stress as much as we can," Vrba said.

Vrba also said staff members are not allowed to go to their work station without being assessed by a nurse.

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