NEW rules for Limerick nursing homes and long term care facilities will allow one person to visit residents each week with leeway for more visits only on compassionate grounds.
In a statement following the meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), a spokesman for the Limerick community care section of the HSE outlined the new measures, which will apply nationally.
“The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), following engagement with key national stakeholders, prepared revised Covid-19 Guidance on visitations to long term residential care facilities. The new guidelines are being implemented with regard to the general wellbeing of those living in these facilities.
The revised guidance, will come into effect from Monday, December 7. “The revised guidance notes that residents can be facilitated, on compassionate grounds, to receive up to one visit per week by one person under Framework Levels 3 and 4 or per two weeks by one person under Framework Level 5.
“The guidance also provides further clarity on visiting in critical and compassionate circumstances. It is recognised that major cultural or religious festivals, such as Christmas, are of significance for residents and this guidance notes that all practical efforts should be made to accommodate an additional visit to residents on compassionate grounds.”
Meanwhile, Sage Advocacy, which represents older people, is urging nursing home operators to facilitate meaningful, safe visits between nursing home residents and their loved ones in the run up to Christmas andover the New Year period in line with new public health guidelines.Executive Director Sarah Lennon said that families and nursing home residents were anxiously waiting for clarification around the arrangements for visiting both in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.“This is a very special time for families throughout the country but it is particularly important for nursing home residents, who have at times been more restricted than most in our communities to be able to get together with their loved ones.”
“At all framework levels, every practical effort should be made on compassionate grounds by nursing home operators to facilitate visits in the long term residential care facility during the Christmas/New Year period for those residents for whom this is an important period,” Ms Lennon added.