Nursing home visits of all kinds fell by 53% between March and April, immediately following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to September findings by SeniorLiving.org Research.
The study used de-identified visitor data at nursing homes from 26 states. Researchers noted that because the data is de-identified, total traffic to nursing homes is inclusive of staff, vendors and visitors.
Experts said that better visitor insight might have been provided if the numbers were stratified by type of visitor.
“While this data does show the significant drop in visitors, it does not quite fully convey that there was almost a 100% decrease in [nonessential] visits that bring great joy to our residents — visits from their family and friends,” Erin Shvetzoff Hennessey, CEO of Health Dimensions Group, told McKnight’s.
She noted that “most providers took the guidance very seriously and had even put in place restrictions prior to [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] requirements.”
“The isolation our residents have felt is heartbreaking, but necessary to keep them safe from a virus that has been so unkind to our residents,” Hennessey added.