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Justice In Aging: Nursing Homes Should Broaden Definition Of Compassionate Care Visit

Published: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 4:42pm
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 1:25pm

On Wednesday, Arizona reported more than 1,800 new cases of COVID-19. The Department of Health Services has reported several record-breaking days since reopening in mid-May. And that could have consequences for those living in long-term care. 

Roughly three months have passed since most long-term care facilities closed their doors to visitors due to the coronavirus. Arizona is nowhere near being able to reopen based on guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Eric Carlson is with the organization Justice in Aging. He says there is a carve-out for compassionate care visits. But he says many facilities are interpreting this narrowly. 

"So, there needs to be a broader understanding of what compassionate care means because there's a lot of residents who desperately need visits at this point," Carlson said.

And Carlson says many residents are feeling the effects of isolation, which can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety. While Centers for Medicare and Medicaid lists end of life as an example of a compassionate care visit, there is no clear criteria

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