Families and advocates of residents at nursing homes are calling for more transparency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeannie Wells mother is 92-years-old. Her name is Janet and she moved into an assisted living facility operated by Hurbut Care Communities. They operate a number of facilities around the region.
Wells is now relying on staff updates, because she cannot visit her.
“There’s so many emotions I’ve never experienced before. It’s a loss. It’s a loss with the person still being there,” said Wells. “And there’s no way to understand that emotion and you can’t go comfort someone, you’re forbidden,” Wells explained to 13WHAM.
“To not see, to not touch, to not talk, to not hear, is extremely difficult. And when you have dementia, such as my mother, we count on continuous visits to keep up familiarities,” said Wells. “And at this point, I’m sure my mother doesn’t even know who I am,” she continued.
Those frequently visits are what she uses to keep herself familiar in her mother’s mind. Without them, she doesn’t know what the future will look like.
This week, New York State began releasing nursing home data by county. That’s to say, how many fatalities connected to the virus had been reported at nursing home facilities across each county.
“I think we do need to know home by home, mainly so we can have a coordinated response,” said Ann Marie Cook, the president and CEO of Lifespan of Greater Rochester. “We know when communities have been able to fully test and have been able to fully test, and you begin to see these hot spots, you can act in a very coordinated, very focused matter. So we need the data.”