I wish I had an answer.
The balancing act of protecting your vulnerable elderly parent from a virus, which has hit Nursing Homes hard and making sure that their residents have their need for visitors met is not easy.
Nursing Homes and Assisted Livings are in the last group of places that will be allowed to open. In the meantime those with loved one in facilities may need to assert the right to visit: “The Legislature finds and declares that every adult in this state has the right to visit with, and receive mail and telephone or electronic communication from, whomever he or she so chooses, unless a court has specifically ordered otherwise.”
If communication is not occurring via phone or technology (e.g. Video visits) you may need to be assertive. Of course, we have to realize the staff is often overwhelmed, and may have difficulty finding time to help your loved one get to the phone or to help them set up some technology so we must be kind and patient. However, not having visitors does lead to depression and cause your loved one to severely deteriorate.
Perhaps you can obtain full personal protective equipment, allow your temperature to be taken and then request to visit.
Perhaps, you can privately pay a physician or nurse to go in to check out your loved one.
If your concerns are great enough and you have taken all the precautions staff does and you are still not allowed to visit, you might invest in an attorney who can go to court to assert your right to visit. Drastic measures in the right circumstances might be necessary, especially if the restrictions continue for several more months.
If your loved one is able to answer their phone and you are able to chat via some video service be grateful, hopefully, you will be in person soon. If your loved one is unable to use the phone or video, and staff is not bringing video to their room for you to see them and tell them you love them, you may want to consider what steps you can take to see in person if your loved one is okay.
Martha Patterson is a California Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. She focuses on Elder Law, Asset Protection and Estate Planning. She is a Member of NAELA; Past President of Southern California NAELA. Featured on CNN, Good Morning America, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and radio stations KABC, KNX, and KKLA. She overcame incredible objections and enabled Kerri and Julie Kasem to visit their dad radio host Casey Kasem. She is a frequent lecturer for NBI, and is a at MCLE events, and public forums.