Visiting with COVID-19 Vaccinated Seniors

COVID-19 has upended people’s lives the world over and seniors were some of the most heavily affected.  Fortunately, in the US, most now have access to the vaccine.  Due to this, the CDC has stated it is safe to start visiting seniors who have been vaccinated against COVID-19!  Read on for tips on visiting an elderly loved one safely during the COVID era, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact the knowledgeable, friendly team here at Advanced Nursing + Home Support!

Tips for visiting with seniors who have had a COVID-19 vaccine:

Loneliness, depression, lack of cognitive stimulation, and lack of exercise are all risks that can result from seniors being isolated due to the virus.  Humans are social creatures and being social with other people is essential for us, especially as we age.  See the tips below for advice on how to make your time together as safe as possible when you visit your elderly loved one who has been vaccinated for COVID-19:

  • If the visit is indoors, it is still best for everyone to wear masks, unless every person present has been vaccinated. 
  • If weather and the situation permits, consider meeting outside.  The fresh air and open space lower the chance of transmitting the virus.
  • During the visit, continue social distancing as much as possible.  Hugs and handshakes are considered relatively safe if seniors are vaccinated, but it is still best to limit the time you spend in very close contact. 
  • The rules at senior living facilities may be stricter than regulations elsewhere.  If you visit your loved one at one of these locations, be prepared that you may need to continue wearing masks to visit, regardless of your vaccination status.
  • If in doubt, you can always choose to wear a mask during the visit if it would make you more comfortable. 

When should I consider delaying or canceling a visit with my elderly loved one?

There may be times you should still delay or cancel a visit, at least for a little while.  It is important to remember if you are within the two-week window of receiving the final vaccine, there is still a higher likelihood you could contact COVID or pass it on to someone else.  This is because the vaccines aren’t fully effective until those two weeks have passed.  You could have contracted the virus before you got the vaccine and are only now realizing it, or you could contract it during the two weeks while you are waiting for the vaccine to take full effect. 

Below are a few reasons you may consider delaying or canceling a visit with a senior:

  • You are due for your vaccine in just a few weeks:  In this case, you may wish to postpone the visit until everyone is fully vaccinated, just to ensure as much safety as possible.
  • Someone in the visiting party is unvaccinated and knows they may have been exposed to the virus:  In this case, it may be best to wait at least two weeks to see if any infection develops.
  • There are still people in the visiting party who are unvaccinated:  This could be because they haven’t been able to get the vaccine yet—such as children—or because they are unable to be vaccinated due to health or other concerns. 
  • Someone in the visiting party has had a positive COVID test in the last two weeks:  It is best to wait until two weeks after they no longer receive a positive test result to visit elderly loved ones, even if they are vaccinated.  This is because no vaccine is 100% effective and the senior you are visiting may still be able to contract the virus.  In this situation, you should also follow your doctor’s advice on when it is safe to visit with elderly loved ones again.

Ultimately, once your elderly loved one is safely vaccinated against COVID it is up to your family to decide the risks you are willing to take.  It is important to note that it is always possible that the elderly family member may be vaccinated and may not appear sick, but they may still be able to pass the virus on to other unvaccinated people.

Call today with questions on visiting with COVID-19 vaccinated seniors!

At Advanced Nursing + Home Support, our compassionate and knowledgeable team is committed to providing you with up-to-date and accurate information on current COVID guidelines as we continue to navigate the post-pandemic world.   Our goal is to make the information as convenient and accessible as possible by being just a phone call away.  If you have questions on how to safely visit an aging loved one after a COVID vaccine, get peace of mind and contact Advanced Nursing + Home Support today.  Our highly trained team is available to answer all your questions. 

Contact us online or by phone at 240-414-4147 for more information.

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