Emergency Preparedness

September Is National Preparedness Month

The Core Advisory Group of Tompkins County reminds you:

“Emergencies Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

What to do when your loved one is in a nursing home during COVID-19

Staying in touch
For many residents of nursing and group homes, it’s hard not being allowed to see visitors or participate in group activities. Many struggle with loneliness or depression. Fortunately, there are ways to visit remotely. Many nursing homes have set up window stations for visitors. Friends and family can call the facility and to schedule a window visit with a loved one.

Visitors can be escorted to a large window or sliding glass door where they can watch safely from inside while visitors smile and wave – or perform songs or dances for them – from outside. Window visitation can be done over the phone as well, in which case, both the resident and the visitor talk on the phone while being able to see each other through the window.

Many facilities have also helped set up computers and email accounts for residents who don’t already have them, and of course, talking on the phone is always a safe way to stay in touch.

If your loved one is bedridden or unable to talk on the phone, call the facility to ask for help – in most cases, staff members can take a phone or tablet into a room and hold it up, allowing visitors to see or speak to their loved ones over Skype or Zoom.

Can I visit my loved one in a nursing home?
It depends on where you live.

AARP has a state-by-state guide you can use to check visitation status in your state.

Bear in mind that even in states that have authorized visits, individual nursing homes may remain locked down due to local or facility-specific circumstances.

In the meantime, the best way to “see” your loved ones during this period is often through video-chat and conferencing platforms like Zoom, FaceTime and Skype.


The Core Advisory Group (CAG) of Tompkins County advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities in all emergency preparedness activities. We welcome any interested people from the Tompkins County Community. For more information contact Jan Lynch 607-272-2433 or email Jan@fliconline.org