For most people in assisted living, it has been over a year since they have had the luxury of visits. Now that things are beginning to open up and most seniors have been vaccinated against COVID-19, everyone is looking forward to reuniting with friends and family. It has been a long time in coming.

Precautions Are Still Necessary

Even though visiting bans may be lifted and vaccines received, it is still important to follow guidelines for safety. Whether you visit your loved one now depends in part on your family’s circumstances and how comfortable you are with contact.

The COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be very effective for the most part. Once seniors have received both doses, about two weeks after the second injection, the full extent of immunity should be working. With that being said, the virus has not gone away, so caution is still advised.

When two or more people are in close contact with one another, there is still a risk of spreading the virus. For this reason, it is advisable to wear a mask and, when in public, practice social distancing.

Consider the Risks

Not everyone has been vaccinated. Most older people have received their vaccinations, and if every member of the family who visits has been vaccinated, the risk for spreading the virus is very low. Keep in mind that getting vaccinated does not mean that you cannot get COVID-19, it means you probably won’t get it, but none of the vaccines are 100% effective.

It is also still unclear if a person who has been vaccinated can be a carrier of the virus even though they have immunity to it themselves. For now, there remains a risk for spreading the disease even with vaccination, although it is a considerably lower risk.

Being in isolation and being lonely is not good for anyone and especially seniors. It can lead to depression, exacerbate dementia and cause other physical and mental health issues. Visits with loved ones are encouraged. Just remember to take precautions, keep your mask on and try not to stay too close for too long.