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“Visitation stations” now in place at some nursing homes

Photo courtesy of Cherise Offenberger Cherise Offenberger shows how a plexiglass barrier can be used outside of the Muskingum Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in Beverly.

Though hugs for loved ones in a nursing home are still not on the table, a face-to-face visit with some sort of barrier or distance is now possible.

At both of the Continuing Healthcare Solutions’ facilities in Washington County, Belpre’s Landing and Muskingum Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Beverly, new “visitation stations” are up and ready for use by families.

“They’re just plexiglass and a few boards with some wheels on them,” shared Cherise Offenberger, admissions and activities director of the Beverly facility. “It sits right outside my office, so we can watch but if there’s a resident that needs more care we also send out an STNA with that resident to help with the visit.”

The clear box looks similar to a hockey penalty box, but remains low-tech, she said.

“It just wheels out and (the resident) can sit down, then the family can come and sit and visit with them outside the glass,” she said.

Other nursing facilities, like Heartland of Marietta, The Arbors and United Church Homes’ two locations in Marietta, are still in the planning stages for when visits may begin again, and how that would be accomplished.

“We are very close to releasing our guidelines on how our families can come back and reconnect,” said Amy Bonacuse, director of communications for United Church Homes, which owns both the Glenwood Community off of Glendale Extension in Marietta, and Harmar Place on the city’s west side. “We’re working to make sure that we have adequate outdoor space and make it a pleasant experience rather than feeling like policing.”

Factors being considered, according to Bonacuse, and administrators at the other facilities, include weather, space and sanitation access.

Offenberger said the visitation stations at Belpre and Beverly are routinely sanitized between visits.

Elmcroft could not be reached for comment Monday.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

– Local nursing homes are considering visitation offerings.

– Visits to residents must still maintain the minimum six-foot distance required by Ohio health order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

– Visit policies and procedures vary by facility.

Source: Times research.

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