For more insight, we reached out to family advocate Mary Daniel, who is not only on the Governor’s long-term care task force, but also helped AHCA with its latest guidance.
Cait McVey: “We’re hearing from CMS the exact opposite of what the sate has put out.”
Mary Daniel: “See, I don’t necessarily see it that way. All of these are recommendations. It’s what they’re saying they would like for us to do. I don’t think that has any bearing on changing anything in the state order.”
Cait McVey: “How important is the word recommend in this case?”
Mary Daniel: “It’s hugely important. This is telling me this is what they’re recommending but it doesn’t tell me this is what I have to do. If we really dig into this and see what it’s saying, it’s telling us the risk, it’s telling us you can do it, but you need to be extremely careful.”
Cait McVey: “What do you have to say to people who are watching the numbers climb here in Florida and feel because this is a vulnerable population, it’s not wise to take them home for the Holidays?”
Mary Daniel: “Why do we believe that staying in a facility with people coming and going, and I’m speaking particularly of the staff, why is that safer than being in my own home with just me? That’s an assumption that I don’t by into that. This can be done safely. It really can.”
Daniel advises families to already be looking ahead to December and reaching out to facilities now, rather than waiting until the last minute. She also recommends contacting AHCA directly, should a facility indicate it won’t be following the state order.