This article suggests that federal and state government as well as long-term care facilities should ensure meaningful communication in care settings to reduce negative mental health effects stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Older adults in long-term care facilities are at greater risk for severe consequences from COVID-19, and family caregivers are the most trusted allies for those residents. With recent federal guidelines restricting family visitation, residents have experienced even greater isolation. The authors argue that even with the lack of allowable physical visitation, government officials and facility administrators should work to ensure ongoing family communication and engagement. They recommend specific actions to enable this meaningful communication including strengthening nursing home-family caregiver communication channels, activating family councils, mobilizing students and trainees, and encouraging family members to manage their own personal safety and health.