Visitation Policy at the Bridges

Our Visitation Policy has been developed with the following goals in mind

  • Implementation and compliance with Section 408.823, the “No Patient Left Alone Act”
  • To facilitate resident and family connection
  • To mitigate resident isolation and risks for depression

The Bridges Administrator is assigned to be responsible for ensuring staff adhere to these Policies and  Procedures

  1. Visitors are welcome to visit at any time during the general visiting hours of 9:00am – 9:00pm at minimum. After 9:00pm, visitors may request extended visitation upon resident agreement and notifying staff to provide them with access to the building. There is no limit on the length of visitation with a resident and two visitors are preferred to visit with a resident at a time.
  2. Residents shall have unrestricted access to private communications including sending and receiving unopened correspondence and private telephone calls.
  3. Safety-related policies and procedures apply equally for staff and visitors. Visitors are not required to provide proof of any vaccination or immunization. This policy allows consensual physical contact between a Resident and Visitor.
  4. Resident may designate a visitor who is a family member, friend, guardian, or other individual as an essential caregiver and will be allowed in-person visitation for at least 2 hours daily in addition to any other visitation.
  5. In-person visitation is allowed under the following circumstances unless a resident objects
    1. End-of-life situations;
    2. Resident who was living with family before being admitted to the provider’s care is struggling with the change in environment and lack of in-person family support;
    3. Resident is making one or more major medical decisions;
    4. Resident is experiencing emotional distress or grieving the loss of a friend or family member who recently died;
    5. Resident needs cueing or encouragement to eat or drink which was provided by a family member or caregiver; and/or
    6. Resident who used to talk and interact with others is seldom speaking.
  6. Visitors will be screened as per The Bridges infection control policy and procedure with documentation of visitor name, the date, and time of entry.
  7. Visitors will be provided education on communicable disease signs and symptoms and The Bridges infection control precautions prior to or upon their visit. As per regulation, mask-wearing may be optional and used at the discretion of the visitor and resident.
  8. During a Pandemic, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be enforced and all visitors will be provided with prior verbal instruction as to the following infection control expectations as mandated by the State of Florida upon arrival at the facility.The Bridges will advise all visitors of the community’s infection control protocols including:
    1. Hand-washing, sanitizing, and log in with name, date, and time of entry into the facility at the front desk
    2. Completion of a questionnaire if applicable
    3. Visitors will be escorted by a staff member to their residents and only engage with the resident they are visiting
    4. Residents and family members must wash their hands after the visit
    5. Consult with the front desk or Administrator with any questions (for example, privacy room to meet with the resident, status of care, etc.)
    6. Log out with visitor signature in logbook located at the front desk
    7. The Administrator or designee is responsible for overseeing visitor compliance
  9. Residents with cognitive impairments or who may be fragile and not be able to follow these guidelines independently will be assisted by staff with compliance protocols.
  10. This policy does not prohibit visits if the resident to be visited is quarantined, tested positive, or showing symptoms of a communicable disease. Visits in these circumstances will require a higher level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) than standard masks. PPE will be provided to the visitor and will be in accordance with the most recent CDC guidance and state law requirements for healthcare workers.
  11. The Bridges does not require visitors to agree in writing to follow the visitation policies and procedures. However, if the visitor has violated the policies and procedures, The Bridges may suspend in-person visitation for the specific individual.
  12. To ensure resident safety, visitation may be suspended for anyone in violation of this policy.

    Questions We Often Hear

    What is assisted living?

    Assisted living is for those who are 55+ who want to live as independently as possible, however, may need some assistance with their daily activities such as laundry, housekeeping, meal preparation, medication management, etc.

    What is the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing?

    Skilled nursing facilities provide around the clock complex nursing care that assisted living facilities are not equipped to handle, such a wound management, intravenous medications, and tube feedings. Assisted living communities, on the other hand, will generally provide assistance and supervision with activities of daily living; this often includes medication management.

    When is it time to make a move to assisted living?

    The best time to make a move is before something happens that forces your loved one to make a move quickly. Some signs that indicate it may be time to consider assisted living include:

    • Medication may be taken incorrectly or dosage forgotten
    • Meals may be forgotten or spoiled food in the refrigerator
    • House is not clean or tidy
    • Laundry is piling up or same clothing is repeatedly worn
    • Bills are routinely unpaid
    • Isolated and lonely

    What questions should be considered when touring a community?

    1. Are the grounds well-maintained?
    2. Is the facility attractive, clean and odor-free?
    3. Are there different floor plans? What is the square footage of each?
    4. What are the amenities? What is the fee for each?
    5. Is there an activities calendar? Ask to see the calendar.
    6. Are there options at every meal? Ask to see a menu.
    7. Is there an entrance fee?
    8. Is there 24-hour staff on-site?
    9. What is the monthly rent?
    10. Is transportation available?
    11. How are medications managed?

    What is the best advice for making the transition to assisted living?

    It is important to set up the apartment with furnishings that are familiar to your loved one. Be sure to bring photos and personal possessions that are meaningful to provide a home-like feel.

    How long is the average length of stay?

    Statistically, the average length of stay in an assisted living facility is 2 – 2.5 years.

    How does one pay for assisted living?

    Assisted living communities are typically private pay. However, there are veteran benefits that may be available for qualified individuals, including the surviving spouse of a veteran. Long term care insurance policies may also provide reimbursement for assisted living expenses.

    Medicare does not reimburse for assisted living.

    Why is assisted living so expensive?

    The cost of residing in an assisted living community is significant. This is due primarily to the high level of staffing required, specifically nursing assistants and licensed nurses, in order to provide the care and supervision needed by residents. Assisted living communities are typically staffed 24 hours a day.

    Is home health care cheaper than assisted living?

    Whether home health care is more or less expensive than assisted living is dependent on the number of hours and days a caregiver is employed. Home health aides are typically paid privately by the hour. An aide providing care to an individual for several hours each day, several days per week will likely be less expensive than residing in an assisted living facility. As care needs increase, it may become more financially advantageous to move into an assisted living community, especially considering the wide array of amenities included.

    Helpful Resources

    Alzheimer’s Association

    The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
    www.alz.org

    Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration

    Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration is responsible for the administration of the Florida Medicaid program, licensure and regulation of Florida’s health facilities and for providing information to Floridians about the quality of care they receive.
    www.ahca.myflorida.com

    Medicare

    Medicare is the National health insurance program for people age 65 or older, some people with disabilities under age 65 and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
    www.medicare.gov

    West Central Florida Area
    Agency on Aging, Inc.

    West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging is a not-for-profit organization providing assistance, advocacy and answers on aging.
    www.AgingFlorida.com

    Veteran’s Benefits

    Veteran’s Benefits Administration provides financial and other forms of assistance to veterans and their dependents.
    www.benefits.va.gov/benefits

    Glossary of Terms

    Advanced Directives

    An advance directive is a witnessed written document by a person expressing their instructions about health care, through documents, including but not limited to, the:

    • Designation of health care surrogate
    • A living will; or
    • A do-not-resuscitate order

    Alzheimer’s disease

    Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living.

    Dementia

    Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

    Health Care Surrogate

    A health care surrogate shall have the authority to act for the person during his or her incapacity.

    Home Health Care

    Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury.

    Hospice

    A hospice is a facility or program that provides pain relief and other support services for the terminally ill.

    Living Will

    A living will is a witnessed written declaration providing instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures in the event such person suffers from a terminal condition.

    Long Term Care Insurance

    Long-term care insurance is an insurance product which helps pay for long-term care typically not covered by regular health insurance, Medicare or Medicare Supplemental Insurance.

    Power of Attorney

    A power of attorney exists when one person, the principal, gives someone else, the attorney in fact or agent, written authority to do some specified acts.

    Skilled Nursing

    Skilled nursing facilities provide skilled nursing care on a 24-hour basis. Skilled nursing care is comprehensive, planned medical care that includes rehabilitative therapy, diet supervision and trained observation.