New nursing home guidelines could be coming to Colorado


DENVER (KDVR) — FOX31 is learning of new plans that could soon allow more face-to-face visitation in nursing homes. This news follows other recently released guidelines.

Families are telling us they are still having a hard time visiting residents in the facilities.

“It’s annoying. You want to be with your relative, your family member. It’s just part of the COVID thing, I guess,” said Patty Kenney, whose sister is in a care center.

Viewers have asked what the state is doing to help make more nursing home visits possible.

One woman said she felt her loved one was “dying of loneliness.”

Some families are frustrated with the state’s COVID-19 visitation policies.

Kenney said, “You don’t want to hear what I have to say to the governor, OK? It would not be politically correct.”

The state recently came out with new visitation regulations that allow some nursing homes to construct visitation policies based on COVID-19 infection rates.

There are other guidelines that must be met before indoor visitation takes place.

New guidelines could soon allow indoor visitations to occur more easily.

The new guidance came out last week, according to Janice Snipes, who heads the Holly Heights Care Center in southeast Denver.

“We are already preparing for it and I know the state health department is working on it as well to make sure the guidelines mesh,” said Snipes.

Currently, many nursing homes like Holly Heights allow outdoor visitation.

But with cold weather coming, there are concerns from people like Jason Beals, whose mother is in Holly Heights.

“Things are going to happen, especially when it gets cold, everybody is going to want to stay warm,” Beals said.

Meanwhile, people like Patty Kenney can only hope rules change soon — in a way that protects her sister yet allows indoor face time.

On Tuesday, the governor’s office said indoor visits are being allowed in some nursing homes.

A spokesman also said Gov. Jared Polis knows this is a challenging time for families.

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