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Can a Husband or Wife Be Prevented From Visiting Their Spouse in a Nursing Home?
Can a family member or agent under a power of attorney prohibit the community spouse from visiting the nursing home spouse when there has been no abuse or any substantiating reason for withholding visitation?
Technically, the answer is "no"; it is up to the resident to determine who may come visit. As a practical matter, however, the resident may not be competent to make that decision and the facility may defer to to someone the resident has chosen, the agent under a durable power of attorney. If a dispute over visitation cannot be resolved by the various parties talking it over, the community spouse should consult with the ombudsperson, a volunteer who works to protect nursing home residents. Ultimately, visitation rights may have to be resolved through the appointment of a guardian who would have the legal power to make decisions on behalf of the nursing home resident.