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Experts recommend caution before visiting older family members for Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 3:55 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The governor is encouraging people to limit Thanksgiving celebrations this year to slow the spread of the coronavirus. While people still want to visit elderly family members, experts say right now might not be the best time.

This holiday season will be filled with difficult decisions for almost every family.

“We are complicated in that need to be connected in that need for being close in proximity to our loved ones with COVID right now,” Lindsay Kampfer from Bluegrass Care Navigators said.

The coronavirus has proven to be deadly for older family members. More than 1,300 Kentuckians over the age of 70 have died from COVID-related complications.

That’s why Kampfer says families will need to be creative this year to celebrate Thanksgiving from a distance.

“Sending a quick text or phone call might not be enough. So learning how to use platforms like Zoom or FaceTime,” she said. “You know it’s so important for people to not just have a voice, but have a physical presence to feel connected.”

Kampfer is also offering guidance for family members who do need to visit loved ones because end of life may be nearing. She says anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu should not visit. In some cases, the visits will have to be limited. People should continue following CDC guidelines like masks and sanitizing.

“Welcoming one family at a time, sanitizing in between visits, and making sure folks are wearing masks and social distancing when they do visit.”

As we get closer to the holiday, Kampfer says it’s best to start preparing now because plans and hard decisions will take time.

Kampfer says people should also consider the health and safety of caregivers before planning visits to elderly loved ones.

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