Essential Caregiving

Essential Caregiving at NRC

Although social distancing and physical separation are still important to keep residents safe, NRC is taking steps to combat the unintended consequences of prolonged isolation and to maintain overall health and wellbeing. A new program, Essential Caregiver, is being implemented in accordance with guidance released from Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Our goal is to help residents who are missing care previously provided by a loved one or outside caregiver prior to the visitor restrictions required due to COVID-19.

Icon Care Opt2 OrangeEssential Caregiver Information

So you have a better understanding of what it means to be an Essential Caregiver as well as the policies and protocols that will be in place for those who serve in this role, please review the following information.

To fully understand the guidance we are required to follow by the State of Minnesota and ensure we are protecting the health and safety of all who live and work here, we encourage you to read the MDH Guidance on Essential Caregivers.

NRC retains the right to restrict or revoke Essential Care status if the designated person fails to follow our established policies and protocols.

  • Evaluation and Designation Criteria

    Criteria we will use to evaluate and designate Essential Caregivers in our settings
    • Essential Caregivers will be determined based on consultation/assessment with our care planning leadership team and Medical Director.
    • Residents will be consulted about their wishes to help determine whom to designate as an Essential Caregiver. If the resident desires to designate more than one Essential Caregiver based on their past involvement and needs, we will work cooperatively with them to determine who will serve as essential caregivers and the schedule for those visits.
    • Essential Caregivers can be family members, outside caregivers, friends or volunteers who provided regular care and emotional support to the resident prior to the pandemic.
    • Essential Caregivers may provide support up to three hours per day or until caregiving tasks are completed. Please know Northfield Retirement Community may establish limits of the number of Essential Caregivers in the building or the length of the visits based on the need to keep residents and staff safe.
    • Essential Caregivers will be actively screened for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the building and must wear all necessary personal protective equipment while in the building. They must also perform frequent hand hygiene and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet with staff and other residents while in our buildings.
    • Essential Caregivers will limit their movement in our care center and assisted living buildings, providing care and support in their loved ones’ room or a designated space on our campus.
    • Essential Caregivers must inform us if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit to a resident.

    Leaving the NRC Campus

    It is important to know that Essential Caregivers:

    • Cannot take a resident out into the community, except for essential medical appointments.
    • Must not visit a resident during a resident’s 14-day quarantine.
    • Must not visit when a resident is positive for COVID-19 or symptomatic, unless the visit is for compassionate care.
  • NRC Policy Information

    Important information on our in-house policy

    Essential Caregivers will be required to completed the following:

    • Must sign the NRC Essential Caregiver Release.
    • Must schedule and attend Essential Caregiver Orientation with Nurse Educator prior to any visits.
    • Must be screened prior to each visit and must have a temp below 100°f.
    • Must wear all necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) throughout the duration of each visit.
    • Must follow social distancing of at least 6 feet from staff and other residents and stay within residents’ room or designated area of the campus.


Getting Started

If you're interested in being designated as an Essential Caregiver, please get in touch. We will review each request to determine whether it meets the criteria of the state and meets the resident’s care plan before any individual can begin serving as an Essential Caregiver. All Essential Caregivers will be required to review and sign a Risk Form.

Care Center Residents

To care for a resident in the Northfield Care Center, please , RN, Director of Nursing.

Housing Residents

To care for a resident in other NRC housing, please , RN, Director of Community Health Services.