News

Planning Your Family Visit

Blue Heart Stay Safe

Questions and Answers about planning family visits (as of 1/11/21)

Q: Will I be able to see my loved one for the extended visits and travel?

Due to the post-holiday spike across regions we are continuing to take precautions for visits and travel.  A visitation screening tool has been created to review the appropriateness for travel and family home visits.  If a visit is pursued after careful assessment of risk, there will be additional questions that will need to be asked by our staff, concerning the details of your plan, considering the current CDC (Center for Disease Control), State, Local and Regulatory Agency’s guidance on the COVID situation. The more details our team has about your plans, the easier it will be for us to discuss the appropriateness of visitation.  At this time we are continuing to recommend that individual’s remain at home (program) to minimize risk.

 

Q: Are there specific instructions we would need to follow for travel/visits?

We highly encourage careful consideration for visitation. In the event a visit is decided, we are advising that they occur for a few hours during the day. If plans include an overnight we ask that your loved return on a business day when we have sufficient resources for screening and to support any potential needs. Please work your program manager on an appropriate plan.

For overnight stays, testing is welcome but not mandatory. The family would coordinate a rapid test before return, if there is a negative result, a health screening would also be completed.

  • Please refer to the visitation screening for additional information on planning for the family and individual served.
  • We would ask you to maintain social distance, meaning at least 6 feet apart, when possible; limit being in large crowds for long periods of time, and of course, wear facial coverings/masks. We would also ask you to follow the guidelines specific to your town/county of residence and the Ability Beyond regional map and/or the specific state you are visiting or receiving visitors from.
  • Click on link for CT or NY guidelines: CT Travel Advisory / NY Travel Advisory
  • Travel out of state will require additional steps to minimize exposure risk and may require 14 day quarantine. To the best of your ability, avoid contact with others who have been exposed to COVID and limit the size of your holiday gathering to promote an environment where social distance can realistically occur. Please be mindful of introducing additional people in to your existing “Bubble” that extend your core group and may go beyond your immediate family

 

Q: Are there precautions that may have to be taken when returning from the visit?

Yes. There are precautions that need to be taken to ensure a safe return for all at Ability Beyond. These precautions are very individualized depending on the details of the visit.

  • For example, if you are planning to travel, flying either within the U.S. or abroad, or taking a cruise, the state travel advisory guidance must be followed.
  • Other plans may require a simple health screening by an AB team member and/or negative Covid-19 testing to ensure a safe transition back to AB. The precautions are very person centered and specific to the length, type and location of holiday plans. The AB team will discuss all necessary precautions and assist to arrange testing, if needed.
  • For overnight stays, testing is welcome but not mandatory. The family would coordinate a rapid test before return, if there is a negative result, a health screening would also be completed by phone.
  • If the individual becomes symptomatic or is exposed to someone positive the family will need to keep the individual at their home until they no longer require quarantine

Q: Would there be situations where I may not be able to take my family member for a visit?

Yes. We are being extra cautious and advising that the safest plan is for the person to remain in the program. Our position at this time is based on current state and CDC guidance to avoid visits for those at risk. Our intent of being extra cautious to prevent exposure and illness early in the winter season and to set the stage for health and safety going forward.

In addition, if at the time your family member is showing any of the above Covid-19 signs or symptoms – or is generally not feeling well – we may ask you to delay your plans until a later date. Also, if a housemate of your family member becomes ill with, or is suspected of having COVID-19, our infection control protocol would be to keep your loved one home so that we could closely monitor and prevent the spread of infection to you and others. During these times, we are continuing to keep a watchful eye so that we continue to be successful at keeping the spread of the virus very low.

 

 

Family Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

  • Consider helping us keep everyone safe by continuing to take precautions for visits!
  • Schedule your visit two weeks prior with the RPM
  • Be patient with required protocols-we are appreciate your continued collaboration with maintain health/safety
  • Work with the RPM to conduct a risk assessment considering the needs of your loved one and the impact on housemate(s) if applicable
  • Wear masks and encourage mask usage for your loved one if tolerated when in common areas with other family members and not eating
  • Be mindful of introducing additional people in to your existing “Bubble” that extends your core group and may go beyond your immediate family
  • Promote an environment where social distance can realistically occur
  • Follow the guidelines specific to your town/county of residence and the Ability Beyond regional map
  • Work with team on creative ideas to avoid close contact—introduce elbow taps instead of a hug, prepare in advance with social stories
  • Consider the level of staffing your loved one requires
  • Ensure supply of PPE and sanitizing at home/community

Don’t

  • Make plans without scheduling in advance with the program and discussing specifics about the intended plans
  • Gather with people from high exposure areas, consider schools, college and those who have travelled domestically or internationally within the past 14 days, been in close contact with a person who is COVID positive.
  • Arrange for a visit if you or a family member have a fever or any other symptoms
  • Gather in a location where there isn’t adequate room for social distancing
  • Travel to locations where there would be the need to use public spaces such as rest stops
  • Participate in activities with crowds or where there is a potential for close contact such as amusement parks, malls, indoor dining at restaurants.
  • Ask our direct care too many questions about visitation – please watch Jane’s presentations and ask the RPM or send question to Coronaquestions@abilitybeyond.org

 

Visitation Screening Tool

We would really prefer that individuals stay at their program for the Holidays and family does outside visit or drive by. Program celebrates together.  If this is not possible, this tool may help you choose which visit type is best for your loved one based on their vulnerability and the level if risk of each type of visit.

 

CONSIDER THE RISK LEVEL OF THE INDIVIDUAL

A person we serve might be considered Lower Risk if they

  • Are under age 34
  • Have NO significant health issues, especially: Immunocompromising condition/treatment/medications Obesity Smoking Diabetes Heart condition(s) Lung disease/asthma Kidney disease Liver disease
  • Are able to comply with mask use, social distancing, handwashing Independent and not reliant on hands-on care
  • Live independently, no housemates or 1-2 housemates, own room, own bathroom

A person might be considered Medium Risk if they

  • Are age 34-64
  • Have one of these health issues:
    • Immunocompromising condition/treatment/medications
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Heart condition(s)
    • Lung disease/asthma
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver disease
  • Are not consistently able to comply
  • Are somewhat dependent on other for care
  • Have 2 or more housemates
  • Have housemates who are high-risk

A person might be considered High Risk if they

  • Are age 64+
  • Have one or more of these health issues:
    • Immunocompromising condition/treatment/medications
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Heart condition(s)
    • Lung disease/asthma
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver disease
  • Are unable to comply Dependent on others for care Group home setting, shared bedroom, shared bathroom

 

CONSIDER THE RISK LEVEL OF THE VISIT

A Low Risk Visit

  • Staying In the Home With Immediate Family Members provided EVERYONE IS HEALTHY
  • Individual goes to the family home for a few hours, family provides transportation both ways
  • Family gathering is immediate family only, already lives in family home and no one in the family is sick or recently an exposure risk, less than 10 people
  • Masks used as much as possible, social distancing-scattered tables and chairs
  • Handwashing encouraged frequently
  • Visitor screening done on symptoms when returning to program

A Medium Risk Visit

  • If an Overnight is Requested, and EVERYONE IS HEALTHY, please follow everything in Lower Risk plus…
  • We ask that the return is on a business day when we have sufficient resources for screening and to support any potential needs
  • For overnight stays testing is welcome but not mandatory. Family coordinates a rapid test before the return to the program, if negative result health screening also done by phone with the family.
  • The family plan for the visit is our low risk ideas, outside and no large groups
  • If the individual becomes symptomatic or is exposed to someone positive the family will need to keep the individual at their home until they no longer require quarantine

A High Risk Visit

  • Travel to hot spot and/or flight even if EVERYONE IS HEALTHY
  • Follow everything in Lower Risk and Medium Risk plus…
  • Follow the state travel advisory guidance up to and including testing.  Health screening must be completed by AB staff, no symptoms before return back to the program.

CT Travel Advisory: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

NY Travel Advisory:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

Zoom Link here - or - Dial by your location + 1 646 876 9923 Meeting ID: 864 3901 3779 Passcode: 178399  
Click here for the recording of the January 19, 2021 Family Call   Click here for a link to the presentation only, (no audio)