CLIFTON PARK — The patience of thousands of N.Y. seniors and their families has finally been rewarded with relaxed visitation and communal activities now being authorized by the New York State Department of Health, the regulating agency.
The Department of Health’s new guidelines, issued on March 25, have essentially opened the doors again for over 50,000 residents who call the assisted living community their home. This long-awaited guidance is based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMC) guidelines and allows for visitation more widely and for residents to go on outings without the heavy burden of having to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
Some particularly significant changes that the new guidance makes, including that visitation and other activities will no longer need to be shut down for 14 days for all residents if there is a new positive resident or staff case, said Lisa Newcomb, Executive Director, Empire State Association of Assisted Living. In addition, standards for group activities and communal dining have been relaxed. These changes mean that residents will be able to enjoy time with their fellow residents that they call friends, and enjoy all the wonderful amenities and activities provided by their assisted living community.
Empire State Association of Assisted Living is a not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1979, ESAAL is the only association that exclusively represents the assisted living industry, serving 300 Assisted Living Residences, Adult Homes, Enriched Housing Programs and Assisted Living Programs throughout New York State. These member residences are home to more than 30,000 seniors.