ST. PAUL, Minn. – New guidelines have been issued on designating family members or others as “essential caregivers” for residents of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities.
Such places in Minnesota have had visitor restrictions in place to prevent spread of COVID-19, but state health officials say that brought with it the unintended harm of social isolation. That’s why the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has now issued a new “Essential Caregiver Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities” to lay out a framework long-term care providers can use to designate people to be essential caregivers, striking a balance between meeting residents’ needs and limiting infection risks.
“Minnesota families have made great sacrifices to control the spread of COVID-19 in our long-term care facilities. I know this has been hard,” says Governor Tim Walz. “But with this guidance, families will be able to reunite with their loved ones while continuing to protect the health of our elderly Minnesotans.”
MDH developed the guidance in partnership with stakeholders including Care Providers of Minnesota, LeadingAge Minnesota, the Office of Ombudsman for Long Term Care and other consumer advocate groups.
“While preventing the spread of COVID-19 among residents of long-term care facilities has been a top priority since the start of the pandemic, we all recognize how important it is to ensure that the social and emotional needs of residents continue to be met – especially in light of limitations on visits and other activities in these settings,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “By rolling out this guidance for essential care providers, we are helping to build a more robust framework that providers can use to ensure that residents’ full range of needs are met.”
To view the new guidelines, click here.