Home-bound and Hospital Visitation Practices

  • If you are experiencing illness symptoms (i.e., cough, shortness of breath) of any kind, you should not be visiting the sick and ill.
  • It is strongly recommended that pastors and visitors to hospitals and the home-bound have up-to-date vaccinations including the influenza vaccination. This is to protect the person in the hospital or ill at home as much as the receiver of the vaccination.
  • If you are an unvaccinated person or someone who is at high risk for influenza complications, you might consider wearing a mask when visiting hospitals and the home-bound.
  • Pack a travel bag with alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use before and after visits. After leaving someone’s room, move to a handwashing area to wash with soap and water.
  • Consider increasing your telephone contact with those in the hospital and home-bound. For senior citizens at home, who may be watching a lot of news coverage, please consider how they may have increased anxieties and worries over the outbreak. Regular contact via phone may help calm nerves and not make them feel so isolated.
  • If the pandemic increases to affect U.S.-based communities on a much larger scale, consider your plan to provide care and support for those affected in your setting. How will pastoral care be offered? How will relevant and appropriate information be shared about those affected? When communicating with community members, be mindful of healthcare privacy laws (i.e., HIPAA).

Visit the CDC for their pandemic influenza preparedness checklist.

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