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Keeping in contact with loved ones at care facilities

Although Lycoming County moved into the yellow stage for COVID-19, please remember that local long-term care facilities cannot. Facilities, such as The Meadows, need to continue to follow infection prevention and control practices as directed by the Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and CMS. At this time, these include but are not limited to:

• Universal masking for staff.

• Symptom screening of all persons entering the facility, including staff.

• Restricting visitors.

• Limiting building access points.

• Daily monitoring of residents for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature checks.

• Following guidelines for communal dining or group activities.

• Restricting residents (to the extent possible) to the facility except for medically necessary purposes, in which case, resident must wear mask.

Social distancing is hard for families and residents so here are some things to consider:

• Schedule FaceTime, Skype or Zoom meetings with your loved ones.

• Make regular phone calls.

• Send notes or letters.

• Send emails.

• Have window visits. If you are wearing a mask and stand 6 feet from the window, you can speak through an open window.

• Send flowers, gifts or care packages.

• Put a plant or birdhouse outside your loved one’s window.

• Provide your loved one with activities they can do on their own such as books, music, coloring books, cards, puzzles, handheld electronic games, DVDs.

Get creative! Some facilities have had staff dress-up days, crazy hair days, sports- or character-themed days, car club drive-bys with encouraging messages, balloon displays and signs along walkway or driveway.

Each facility has its own rules and guidelines. Check with the facility first for permission to do some of the activity ideas.

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