Author CANHR Staff

Resident Family Member

For the past 3 months not being able to be with my dad has been unbearable for us. I can only imagine how much worse it must be for him, My dad is on a ventilator and is unable to speak for himself.

Rita Boyadjian

My mother, DeDe, was living at an assisted living in Temecula until three weeks ago, when she was rushed to the hospital due to inability to breathe.  She does NOT have COVID-19.  She has been in intensive care due to several blood clots in her lungs, and is unlikely to survive.  My mom is only 69 years old, and during the quarantine she got very depressed and just laid in bed all day long, which likely contributed to the blood clots she developed.

Long Term Care Resident

I had a 94 year old roommate who had three daughters and they would come every single day to be with him.They came in shifts that way someone was here with him from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night 7 days a week.

Long Term Care Resident

I have been a long term care resident at the [nursing home] for 10 years.  Ever since this Ban has been implemented we have all been isolated completely.  We aren’t even allowed to order a pizza through contactless delivery but the staff places orders for themselves all the time. 

Gov. Mike DeWine announces Ohio’s nursing homes can have outdoor visitation starting July 20

By WKYC Staff, June 29 2020 COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio continues to reopen its economy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one of the last things to remain prohibited has been nursing home visitation.  That will soon be changing.  On Monday, Gov.

Nursing home in Sheridan creates visitation booth for residents to have face-to-face interaction

By Gaby Krevat, KBZK7, June 29 2020 SHERIDAN — While Governor Bullock has eased up some restrictions on nursing homes and assisted living facilities, places like the Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center in Sheridan, continue to remain extremely vigilant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the long term care facility visitation ban all about? California (along with many other states) and federal guidance to long term care facilities largely prohibits residents from receiving in-person visitation due to fear of spreading COVID-19.  The ban on visitation has been in place since mid-March 2020.  While some facilities have been permitting outdoor or window visits, most have not.  The vast majority of long term care facility residents have not seen their friends or families in person for months.

Some NC residential-care facilities can let families visit again, with conditions

By Praveena Somasundaram and Carli Brosseau, The Charlotte Observer, June 29 2020 New guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services allows outdoor visitation at some residential care facilities. The updated guidance took effect at 5 p.m.

Ohio announced nursing home outdoor visitation date, families excited

By WSYX ABC6, June 29 2020 An announcement from the governor Monday that many have been waiting for. Outdoor visitation for nursing homes and start July 20. “I’m going to give her the biggest hug ever.

Arkansas details guidelines for nursing home visits

By Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 28 2020 Arkansas nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term-care facilities will reopen to visitors starting Wednesday. General facility guidelines by the Arkansas Department of Health include: • The facility has to have completed baseline testing of all residents and staff members, and reported the results to the Department of Health.

Coronavirus Pandemic Led to Surge in Alzheimer’s Deaths

By Jon Kamp and Paul Overberg, The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2020 As Covid-19 raced through long-term care facilities, it amplified mortality risks for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia An Illinois nursing home where several residents died of Covid-19.

Some People Are Split After Governor Bullock Announces Nursing Home Visitation Can Resume

By Matt Holzapfel, KRTV3, June 27 2020 GREAT FALLS — Earlier this week, Governor Steve Bullock announced that safe visitation in nursing homes and assisted living facilities would be allowed to resume, given those facilities could follow proper CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines and protocols.

In some states, families can start visiting nursing homes again

By Will Englund, The Washington Post, June 27 2020 Gloria DeSoto, 92, visits with her family on June 11 from a window of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York. The home has scheduled noncontact visits seven days a week to help families and residents reconnect.

Montana Governor announces update on visitation in nursing homes, assisted living facilities

Staff and wire report, Havre Daily News, June 26 2020 Some local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are looking at updated directives could allow some increased visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Steve Bullock announced Thursday an updated directive that permits safe visitation in nursing homes and assisted living facilities that are able to follow infection control protocols per guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New guidance on nursing home visitations in Kentucky

By WKYT News Staff, June 25 2020 FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – Kentucky will resume visitations at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the coming weeks. Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander made the announcement Thursday.

CMS issues ‘long overdue’ visitation guidelines for nursing homes

By James M. Berklan, McKnight’s Long Term Care News, June 25 2020 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services excited the provider community and brought clarity to numerous aspects of restarting visits at nursing homes Wednesday.

Colorado to lift some nursing home visitation restrictions

By Robert Garrison, ABC7 Denver, June 25 2020 Photo by: Google DENVER — The COVID-19 outbreak has struck nursing homes in Colorado especially hard. More than 40% of all deaths related to the virus in the state have come from non-hospital residential facilities, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The State of California: Nursing Homes Continue to See COVID-19 Outbreaks

KCBS Radio, June 24 2020 KCBS Radio Anchors Patti Reising and Jeff Bell and KCBS Radio Political Reporter Doug Sovern speak with Mike Dark, a staff attorney at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a non-profit advocacy group that’s been at the forefront of nursing home issues in the state for almost 40 years.

Testimonials Introduction

The ban on long term care visitation has caused incalculable suffering for residents and their families.  Here are some of the stories of that suffering told by residents and their families.  To contribute your story and (optional) photograph, please send it to

CMS Issues Updated Guidelines, Clarifications on Nursing Home Visitations as States Reopen

By Alex Spanko, Skilled Nursing News, June 24 2020  Pixabay | CC0 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday released an updated set of frequently asked questions designed to encourage safe visitation of residents in nursing homes.

Tamara Pedersen

Hello, unfortunately my mother passed away on May 22 almost 3 full months in isolation. At least I got to be with her in the ER twice the week before she passed and then the day she passed.  I’m not sure she knew I was there but I’m hoping so.

CBS 6 Investigates: Attorney says nursing home visitation ban could become legal issue

By Anne McCloy, CBS6 WRGB Albany, June 23 2020 ALBANY NY (WRGB) – As each day passes, families continue to wait on the state government to determine when nursing home visitation can resume across New York State.

Teresa Palmer, MD

Mom’s 103rd “zoom” birthday party at nursing home with 3 generations. At my 103 year old  Mom’s nursing home, despite No Covid cases and good staffing/PPE, absolutely no personal visits of any kind are allowed.  She  has cognitively declined thinks we are coming to see her.

Nancy Klein

From the time of my beautiful son’s injury I had been with him daily, and to speak for him in his sub-acute state. To show nursing correct way to suction w/o traumatizing him; Inform of the correct way to test shower water temperature so as not to semi-scald him.

Restoring the Visitation Rights of Long Term Care Residents by Allowing Support Person Visitors

Every resident has the right to have at least one support person visitor permitted to visit in-person until the time when full visitation rights can be restored. Visitation is one of the most important and cherished rights of persons in long term care facilities.  Visitation enhances the quality of life and the quality of care for all residents who receive it.  Visitors provide crucial psychological and decision making support, direct care, and monitoring and supervision of care.  Most importantly, visitors provide a loving familiarity that offsets the often traumatic impersonal nature of long term care facilities.

After Months Of Isolation, Nursing Home Residents Can Begin Seeing Visitors In Person

By Kati Weis, CBS4 Denver, June 23 2020 DENVER (CBS4) – Since March, nursing home residents have been isolated from their loved ones, and other fellow residents in their facilities. But Tuesday, state health officials announced those residents can begin seeing visitors face-to-face, with restrictions.

Debra Merrill

I am a Legal Guardian for my mother, a disabled 88 year old nursing home resident. My mother is aphasic, meaning she has lost the ability to formulate words due to a massive stroke she experienced during minor surgery in 1973 and is primarily limited to verbalizing the term “Oh Boy, Oh Boy” in varying articulations to express herself.

Atouria Bodaghi

I am an RN, working for Mayo Clinic in Arizona for years. My mother is in a nursing home in Turlock, California. She was much happier before the Ban due to my brother’s every day visit.

Lorri Evans

My mom currently resides in a memory care facility in Santa Cruz, CA. My mom has five daughters. 3 of us live nearby and were able to visit daily and were very much a part of her care.

J. June Cox

My mother died, not because of the Covid but because I couldn’t be there and help her. The isolation was a direct cause of her loss and I feel I could be a valuable advocate in this cause.

Voiceless victims of coronavirus: Quarantined nursing homes plagued by stress and loneliness

By Susan Christian Goulding, Orange County Register, June 22 2020 Tom Rezvan, left, of Huntington Beach, pushes his father, Perry Rezvan, 77, in a wheelchair as they leave Sea Cliff Healthcare Center in Huntington Beach, on Friday, May 1, 2020.

Op-Ed: My patients are in the hospital, yet so alone. How isolation is complicating care during the pandemic

By Nathan Gray, Los Angeles Times, June 22 2020 (Nathan Gray / For The Times) Gray is an assistant professor of medicine and palliative care at Duke University School of Medicine and an artist who draws comics on medical topics.

During Coronavirus, Parents Face Fight for Right to See Care-Home Children

By Eleanor Laise, Barron’s, June 21, 2020 Jackson Mitzner, right, and his sisters. Courtesy Crystal Ton Crystal Ton won’t take no for an answer. For three months, the Virginia Beach, Va., mother of four has been fighting to see her 13-year-old son, Jackson Mitzner.

Nursing Home Residents Can Have Outside Visitors: Maryland Health Dept.

By Elizabeth Janney, Patch Staff, June 20 2020 Some Maryland nursing home residents will be allowed to eat meals together and have visitors outside, the Maryland Health Department said. (Elizabeth Janney/Patch) MARYLAND — This weekend residents at Maryland nursing homes may have visitors for the first time in more than three months.

Brazilian care home creates ‘hug tunnel’ so loved ones can embrace elderly relatives

By Flora Charner, Rodrigo Pedroso and Sara Spary, CNN, June 19, 2020 A son hugs his father at Três Figueiras via the “hug tunnel,” which staff developed to enable loved ones to embrace. (CNN)A care home for elderly people in southern Brazil has come up with a creative way to bring some love to its residents amid the coronavirus pandemic, by creating a “hug tunnel” that allows relatives to safely embrace them.

Local woman asks Gov. Newsom to allow designated family visits at nursing homes

By Christina Favuzzi, KSBY 6 News, June 17 2020

Heartbreak in nursing homes, dying from loneliness amid COVID-19 visiting restrictions

KMSP Fox 9, June 11 2020 Chester Peske, a WWII veteran, died on June 2nd, four months short of reaching 100th birthday. (FOX 9) FOX 9 – The state of Minnesota is making plans to ease visitor restrictions in long-term care facilities after senior citizens spent the last three months in isolation, one of them dying in part to loneliness.

N.J. evacuated only one nursing home during coronavirus. This is the tragic story.

By Michael Sol Warren and Rodrigo Torrejon | NJ Advance Media for, June 10 2020 Elderly patients arrive at CareOne at Hanover in Whippany during coronavirus pandemic.George McNish | For NJ Advance Media It was a nightmare scenario, a last-ditch effort to save dozens of lives in immediate danger.

Banned From Nursing Homes, Families See Shocking Decline In Their Loved Ones

By Ina Jaffe, NPR, June 9 2020 Luann Thibodeau recently celebrated her 40th anniversary with her husband, Jeff. They ate dinner from Olive Garden while she remained on the other side of his nursing room window.

No visitors in nursing homes a disastrous policy

Opinion by Tom Elias, California Focus, June 8 2020 Nothing has contributed more to substandard treatment of older adults in nursing homes than a futile, failed rule imposed by state and federal governments at the advent of the COVID-19 crisis: Virtually no visits for anyone in any nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

California nursing home deaths from COVID-19 doubled last month, as state pushes more testing

By Mara Hoplamazian, The Sacramento Bee, June 8 2020 Denise Plank visits her father, Ed, 84, through his nursing home window at Fresno’s California Armenian Home nearly everyday. It’s her only way of connecting with her father due to the coronavirus lockdown at the facility. BY CRAIG KOHLRUSS Deaths in California nursing homes from COVID-19 more than doubled during the month of May, as skilled-care facilities for the elderly continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of the pandemic across the United States.

State outlines rules for pre-scheduled outdoor visits at long-term care facilities

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service, June 2 2020 Charwell Nursing Home Massachusetts SOURCE: WCVB BOSTON — Starting Wednesday, Massachusetts state officials will allow residents of nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living facilities to receive guests during pre-scheduled outdoor visits.

Nursing homes open to visitors in Europe. Here’s why California won’t do the same

By Ryan Sabalow and Jason Pohl, The Sacramento Bee, May 26 2020 In this April 21, 2020, photo, Marguerite Mouille, 94, gestures while her visiting daughter takes a photo at the Kaisesberg nursing home, eastern France.

CANHR May 20 2020 Press Conference

CANHR staff, family members of nursing home residents and representatives from other advocacy organizations including Disability Rights California, Justice in Aging, Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Institute on Aging announced their opposition to proposed cuts in home and community based services, and the reinstitution of draconian Medi-Cal recovery policies.

Trump Administration Issues Guidance Prolonging Extreme Isolation of Nursing Home Residents

On May 18, 2020, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance seeking to perpetuate the extreme isolation of nursing home residents throughout the nation, perhaps for months or years to come.


CONTACTS: Patricia McGinnis, Executive Director, CANHR (415) 974-5171 Pauline Shatara, Deputy Director, CANHR (415) 974-5171 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2020 San Francisco, CA – California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform will hold a press conference at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 via Zoom to announce their opposition to proposed cuts in home and community based services, the reinstitution of draconian Medi-Cal recovery policies and  will call for reinstating visitation rights for family members of nursing home and assisted living residents who have not seen their family members for over two months.

It Is Time to Ease the Visitation Ban in Long Term Care Facilities

Visitation is one of the most important and meaningful rights of long term care facility residents.  Both U.S. and California law guarantee very broad access for residents to visit with friends, families, and others who provide critical support.

Visitation Guidelines for Residential Care, Assisted Living, and Board and Care Facilities for the Elderly as of March 16, 2020

As part of the state government’s continuing efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable people, the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services (CCLD) has issued new, even stricter guidelines regarding visitor access to assisted living facilities housing California elders.

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