Well, last week I was actually excited. Our Governor issued this statement.
"Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to expand visitation options for eligible nursing, assisted living, and intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice, effective Thursday, Sept. 24. HHSC’s updated emergency rules will allow a designated essential caregiver to provide supportive, hands-on care to facility residents who do not have COVID-19.
Under the new rules, residents will be allowed to designate up to two essential family caregivers who will be provided necessary training to allow them to safely go inside a facility for a scheduled visit, including in the resident’s room, to help ensure their loved one’s physical, social and emotional needs are being met. Designated caregivers will not be required to maintain physical distancing, but only one caregiver can visit a resident at a time.
A long-term care facility resident (or legal representative) can designate the essential caregiver, who can be a family member, friend or other individual. Facilities are required to train essential caregivers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and other infection control measures. Proper PPE must be used at all times during these scheduled visits, and the caregiver must test negative for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days before the initial visit.
I scheduled my covid test (negative! Woo), and sent an email to the Memory Care manager, asking to have me and my sister designated, and asked about next steps as to do the PPE training.
I got a community notice about visitors....and it mentioned nothing about essential caregivers. Only offered a scheduled, no contact ,30 visit in a designated common area.
When I got a response from the facility it was " we aren't going to do that", so I guess they are going to ignore the guidance. I left message with the corporate offices and the state agency, but it appears the governor got his photo and good press but nothing is changing.
Has anyone in Texas encountered this also, or is mom's facility an outlier? What has been your essential caregiving experience in other states?
Whats crazy about all of this is that I can take her out for a medical or dental visit and they dont care, no quarantine on return. I can help her into the car, sit with her at doctor, drive with her to and from appointment, even get her a snack if she misses a meal.