MDH puts new guidelines in place designating family members or others as essential caregivers for nursing home and assisted living facilities

New guidelines have been issued on designating family members or others as “essential caregivers” for residents of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities.

Such places in Minnesota have had visitor restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but state health officials say that brought with it the unintended harm of social isolation. That’s why the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has now issued a new Essential Caregiver Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities to lay out a framework long-term care providers can use to designate people to be essential caregivers, striking a balance between meeting residents’ needs and limiting infection risks.

MDH developed the guidance in partnership with stakeholders including Care Providers of Minnesota, LeadingAge Minnesota, the Office of Ombudsman for Long Term Care and other consumer advocate groups.