Personal Care Visitors Guidelines

Effective:  June 2021

During a public health emergency declared by the New York State Department of Health, The Firemen’s Home will continue to allow members to access their designated personal caregiving visitors.

  1. The Social Services Department will ask members, or their designated representatives in the event the resident lacks capacity, at time of admission or readmission, or for existing members, which individuals the member elects to serve as their personal caregiving visitor during declared public health emergencies. A member will be entitled to designate at least two personal caregiving visitors at one time.  These designations will be updated no less than quarterly and the Members’ care plans will be updated to reflect any changes.
  2. All personal care givers are required to notify the Home of their intention to visit their Member.  Our visiting hours for essential care givers are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  3. All personal care givers will be screened for signs and symptoms of any communicable disease that is the subject of the declared public health emergency.  All personal care givers will be given a rapid test for the communicable disease or provide evidence of a negative test result dated no more than 7 days prior to the visit.
  4. All personal care givers must adhere to the Home’s infection control protocols.  These protocols include:
    • All personal caregiving visitors to don all necessary personal protective equipment appropriately (this includes surgical masks, eye protection, gown, and use of hand sanitizer) and providing such personal protective equipment to all personal caregiving visitors. 
    • All personal care givers must maintain social distancing at all times while traveling through the common areas of the building.
  5. Personal care givers will be escorted to their Member’s room.  When the care giver is finished with their visit they will ring the call bell to let the staff know that they are ready to leave the building.  The care giver will then be escorted to the building entrance.
  6.  Temporary suspension or limited personal caregiving visitors will be restricted under the following circumstances: 
    • To protect the health, safety and welfare of members; the facility is experiencing temporary inadequate staffing and has reported such staffing shortage to the Department of Health and any other State or federal agencies as required by law, regulation, or another directive; an acute emergency situation exists at the facility, including loss of heat, loss of elevator service, or other temporary loss of an essential service.  In the event a facility suspends or limits personal caregiving visitation, the facility will notify members, all designated personal caregiving visitors, and the applicable New York State Department of Health regional office of such suspension or limitation and the duration thereof within twenty-four hours of implementing the visitation suspension or limitation.
    • Should the Home find it necessary to suspend visitation, we shall further provide a means for all members to engage in remote visitation with their designated personal caregiving visitor(s), including but not limited to phone or video calls, until such time that the suspension or limitation on personal caregiving visitation has ended.
    • The Firemen’s Home may prohibit a personal caregiving visitor from entering if the facility has reasonable cause to believe that permitting the personal caregiving visitor to meet with the member is likely to pose a threat of serious physical, mental, or psychological harm to such member.  This decision will be documented in the personal care plan and the Member and care giver will be notified of the decision.
  7. Frequency and duration of visits shall ensure that members are able to receive their designated personal caregiving visitors for the member’s desired frequency and length of time, and any restrictions on that desired frequency and duration must be:
    • Attributable to the resident’s clinical or personal care needs.
    • Ensure the resident’s roommate has adequate privacy and space to receive their own designated personal caregiving visitors.
    • Sufficient staff to effectively screen all personal caregiving visitors and monitor visits to ensure infection control protocols are being followed throughout, and having a sufficient supply of necessary personal protective equipment for all personal caregiving visitors.