MASON CITY, Iowa - The past nearly two years has been especially difficult for residents in long-term care facilities and nursing homes due to the pandemic and the need to curb the spread of COVID-19, with many going on lockdown and closing off all visitor access.
Fortunately, the IOOF Home is resuming visits between residents and loved ones, just in time for the holidays. The change comes in light of updated guidance from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, who credits the high vaccination rate among residents, and the implementation of a staff vaccination requirement.
Administrator Michael Davis says that with residents and staff enduring hard times over the course of the pandemic, the change is a needed lifting of spirits.
"We find that some residents are suffering from depression and stuff like that. I think these regulations came in the knick of time to boost morale in our residents, and also our staff and families."
"We do have some residents that have family members that live out of town...I'm talking other states. It's been a long haul for some residents, but we are grateful that regulations are starting to ease a little bit and we can get back to some sense of normalcy."
The home has five visitation areas that have been designated for safe, private visits. Masks will still be required during each visit, and visitors will continue to be screened. While appointments are not required, Davis recommends visitors call ahead and check for availability.
Davis says the home will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic situation. If cases spike, in-person visits may be restricted.