Q: How should we address loneliness, helplessness, and boredom?

A: There are many resources for activities:

AMDA (The Society for Post-Acute and Long Term Care Medicine) has an extensive list.

Care Not Covid has many inspiring ideas.

CDC’s Holiday Celebrations can help those planning for COVID precautions during the holidays.

Intergenerational Connections for Long-Term Care Homes During COVID-19, from the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research & Innovation in Long-Term Care has both low tech and high tech ideas.

Senior Planet has online events and a technology help line.

There are many ideas in Manchester Community College’s Well-Being In Stressful Times as well.

The NH Commission on Aging Issue Brief on Social Isolation in Long-Term Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic includes feedback from residents and families and a variety of suggestions, including designating at least one “Essential Support Person” for each LTC resident, which NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control has implemented in their guidance on phased reopening (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21. See below). The brief also suggests screening residents for social isolation.

Your local library’s website is another good place to check.

Q: Should we suspend group activities?

Below is historical information. Information on this page may be useful but some NH DHHS guidance is no longer in force. For current guidance, please see Reopening, and visit the NH DHHS COVID-19 web page for Long Term Care Facilities.

and Q: Is this advice the same for Assisted Living Facilities? (short answer: yes, details below)

A: That depends on the phase your facility is in. See NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control issued guidance (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21. See Reopening)on phased reopening including visitors, activities, meals, etc.

The link above includes a chart of the phases with guidelines for each phase.

You can find links to CMS’s county positivity data (one measure that determines phases) on the NH Covid Alliance Senior Support Team public page. Or, on the CMS website, see Nursing Home Data page by scrolling down to the COVID-19 section.

Note that your phase is determined by county positivity rate, even if you are in a city that has its own data on the DHHS dashboard. DHHS also issued a guide, Navigating Data Dashboards. Again, these data sources are in one place on the NH Covid Alliance Senior Support team main page.

The advice on activities is the same as for mealssuspend communal activities in Phase 0 (outbreak status). The NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control Reopening Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities (LCTFs) (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21. See Reopening.) explains when to lift these restrictions and how to move through the phases. DHHS notes the guidance is for “LTCFs, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential care facilities.”

The CDC issued guidance for Assisted Living Facilities, and also for retirement and independent living facilities, that is similar to advice for nursing homes and long term care facilities.

See also: Dining & meals, Haircuts & other personal services, Internet, connectivity, broadband for virtual visits, Keeping families and residents informed and connected, and Self care

This page updated 5/10/21

Information is changing rapidly as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves. Please take the links on these pages, especially the NH DHHS, which coordinates the COVID-19 response in our state, and other public health resources such as your local public health department, the CDC and WHO to find the latest guidance and recommendations.

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