BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Visitation can resume at some nursing and long term care facilities across New York State on Wednesday, under strict conditions. It will be the first time many seniors have been in the room with loved ones since March.
Elderwood, one of Western New York’s largest operators of such facilities, plans to resume visitation Wednesday at the Elderwood at Tonawanda assisted living facility and the Elderwood Village at Bassett Park facility.
“Preparing to reopen for limited visitation is really a tremendous undertaking,” said Chuck Hayes, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Elderwood.
Only facilities which have not had a positive COVID-19 case in the past 28 days are eligible to resume visitation on Wednesday. Only ten percent of residents in each facility can see visitors at one time. Two guests are allowed for each resident.
“At each facility, we have a scheduler on staff who will be taking appointments,” Hayes said. “Appointments generally range from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the facility and the number of residents there.”
There will be no in-room visitation. Instead, each Elderwood facility will designate one visiting space. Most of them will be outdoors. Hayes says staff has been working on the plan to resume limited visitation for weeks, and has most recently been fine tuning it to comply with guidance from the New York State Department of Health.
Before welcoming visitors, each facility must submit its plan to the Department of Health. A spokesperson for the agency was unable to say how many had done so as of Tuesday.
“One of the most important things to remember, and it’s going to be really difficult for people, is the urge to go up to hug mom or dad or hug grandma or grandpa,” Hayes added. “No physical contact will be allowed. We do need to make sure we maintain the social distance.”
Elderwood’s tentative schedule for the resumption of visitation at its facilities is below:
Assisted Living Facilities
- Elderwood Village at Bassett Park July 15
- Elderwood Village at Cheektowaga July 20
- Elderwood Village at Hamburg July 20
- Elderwood Village at Tonawanda July 15
- Elderwood Assisted Living at West Seneca July 20
- Elderwood Village at Wheatfield July 22
- Elderwood Village at Williamsville ALF July 27
Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Elderwood at Amherst July 21
- Elderwood at Cheektowaga July 31
- Elderwood at Grand Island July 24
- Elderwood at Hamburg July 20
- Elderwood at Lancaster July 20
- Elderwood at Lockport July 28
- Elderwood at Wheatfield SNF August 5
- Elderwood at Williamsville SNF July 16
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.