COVID-19 visiting arrangements for end of life care
Essential visits such as for residents approaching the end of their lives should continue in all circumstances. This has remained unchanged since the beginning of the pandemic.
The following guidance offers an approach that care homes can use to ensure that all the necessary and appropriate precautions are in place to protect both the health & safety of those being cared for and the staff employed in the service.
Who can visit a resident receiving end of life care?
The resident’s spouse and children are able visit at end of life, but not extended family like in-laws, grandchildren, and nieces/nephews, unless there aren't other direct family. Friends should only visit with the consent of family, or in place of family.
How many people can visit a resident receiving end of life care?
The resident can have up to two visitors at a time (when in a household or a bubble), with PPE if necessary. Right at the end of life up to 4 people should be allowed in to be with their loved one, one visitor at a time.
What measures should be followed during visits?
Social distancing should be maintained between visitors as far as possible. Relatives should be facilitated to hold the dying person’s hand if they wish using appropriate PPE – gloves – and hand washing afterwards.
No restriction should be placed on the length or timing of visits but families to recognise they need to share the time between themselves. Relatives must not move around the Care Home and should go straight to the resident’s room.
Under what circumstances should a visit not take place?
Relatives cannot visit anyone at end of life if they:
- have tested positive for COVID-19
- have had a test and are waiting the result
- have any symptoms of COVID-19
- are isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case as per government guidelines
- are otherwise unwell for any non COVID-19 reason.