VOTING: If you are over 65 and live in Missouri, you can vote absentee ballot. You do not need to have anything notarized. You can request an absentee ballot from your local election authority or you can vote in person at the office of the local election authority. Go to vote.org for more information on voting. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot must be received by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. If you mail in your completed ballot, it must be received by November 3, at 7:00 p.m. If you hand-deliver a ballot to your election office, you must do so by November 3 at 7:00 p.m. Please be sure that the ballot is completed and signed.
If you do not know where your election office is, you may contact the Missouri Secretary of State, by calling: 1-573-751-2301 or at www.sos.mo.gov. Please remember to vote. If voting by absentee ballot, please do so early.
October is Residentâ€™s Rights Month. This yearâ€™s theme is â€œConnections Mattersâ€. This emphasizes connections to family, friends, and the community as essential components of good health and quality of life for residents. It is important that we keep in contact with family and friends who are in a nursing home. Studies have shown that the more contact with them, the better they do. These past 7 months have been hard on nursing homes, as nursing homes have had to set some stiff regulations on visiting with family and friends. Most of the nursing homes have limited visitation to phone calls or standing outside the window to their room and waving at them and talking on the phone. There have been very few exceptions to the rules. Nursing Homes were doing as they were instructed to keep the residents and staff safe from Covid-19.
There are some changes to the visitation policy. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidelines for visitations. Nursing homes may now allow visitations with your family member or friend. This could be in a designated room that is sanitized, or it may be in an outdoor area, such as a garden area. Those coming to visit will have their temperature taken and they will be asked about symptoms of Covid-19 that they may or may not have. They will be required to wear a mask, covering their mouth and nose at all times, when on the nursing home grounds and buildings. This is very much like what we go through to go to the doctor’s office. They will have to sanitize their hands using hand sanitizers. Their family member or friend will go through the same procedures. At no time will they be allowed to touch their family member or friend. There is to be no hugging.
Nursing homes will set the standards as to time and number of visitors. Therefore, visitors will need to contact the nursing home to schedule an appointment. Time with the family member or friend will be limited to a time frame set by the nursing home.
IT IS IMPORTANT BEFORE GOING TO THE NURSING HOME/LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY, THAT YOU CONTACT THE NURSING HOME/LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY TO FIND OUT WHAT IS THEIR CRITERIA FOR VISITS. THE NURSING HOME WILL SET THE CONDITIONS.
For more information on the CMS standards, you may check our website www.mcqc.com. The CMS standards are on there. You can also contact CMS, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services at www.cms.gov.
If you are having difficulty with the nursing home, you can contact the Missouri State Ombudsman by calling 1-800-309-3282. You can email them at: LTCOmbudsman@health.mo.gov.
Remember it is important that you contact the nursing home before going to visit to find out what their policy is on visits.