Now that the numbers have begun to stabilize and hospitals

Now that the numbers have begun to stabilize and hospitals are no longer overburdened, we need to take a step back and take the time to reevaluate nursing home visitation rules. These patients are suffering because they have relatives in nursing homes who are also suffering considerably. But these rules give us, as health care providers, comfort and a sense of peace because we are sworn to care for people. And that is why the most extreme measures have been taken in nursing homes. But it’s not just the COVID that is spreading like wildfire in nursing homes, it’s the depression. But we insist on and even slightly harass our elderly patients at each visit to decide whether they should be resuscitated or intubated to avoid unnecessary suffering. When asked about the rules, many of them say that they are at the end of their lives and would rather die from VIDOC than suffer from lack of contact with their families. We document this in notes; we make requests in the EHR even making sure to verbally communicate it to other staff who are caring for the patient. I have seen a noticeable increase in the number of patients with anxiety, depression and guilt. With the increased testing available and the growing awareness of this virus, we can find ways to help this wonderful population see their families. This has been observed in many nursing homes. Our nursing homes have been “closed” for months. We have introduced the strictest regulations to prevent the massive number of cases, deaths and devastating titles. We sign consent forms for visits, procedures, medication, privacy, disclosure of information, child care the list goes on. But it doesn’t give the same sense of comfort and peace to those who introduced the rules.

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