‘Quality of Life is Medically Necessary’: What Nursing Home Residents’ Families Want in a Post-COVID World

By Alex Spanko, Skilled Nursing News, September 20, 2020 For Melody Taylor Stark, navigating life after her husband Bill required long-term nursing care hasn’t always been easy, but with the help of some caring staffers and a little bit of creativity, the couple was able to settle into something like normalcy. Friday nights out at a restaurant became takeout shared over a table that the facility’s staff reserved just for them, off in a private room with a tablecloth and flowers.

Read More

More visitors needed to stem COVID-19 in nursing homes

Commentary by Thomas D. Elias, Napa Valley Register, September 17 2020 FILE – In this April 8, 2020 file photo, a patient at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside, Calif., is evacuated to a waiting ambulance. Officials in Riverside County have filed a complaint over conditions at the skilled nursing facility that was evacuated after staff failed to show up for work during a coronavirus outbreak.

Read More

Nursing Homes Given Federal Go-Ahead To Allow More Visitors

By Ina Jaffe, NPR, September 17 2020 Larry Yarbroff visits his wife Mary at Chaparral House in Berkeley, Calif. in July. California health authorities had allowed some visits to resume, and now federal regulators are doing the same, with measures to try to block the spread of the coronavirus.Jeff Chiu/AP The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulate nursing facilities, are lifting the ban on visitors, effective immediately.

Read More

A daughter’s choice: Her mom didn’t have covid-19. But isolation seemed to be killing her.

By Rachel Chason, The Washington Post, August 21, 2020 Dena Ducane and her mother, Rhoda Dobrovich, spend time on Dena’s front porch last month in Santa Fe. (Mary Mathis for The Washington Post) Dena Ducane had to make a decision, but every option felt wrong. She had pulled her mother, Rhoda Dobrovich, out of a memory-care facility in Santa Fe after watching her grow despondent during weeks without visitors.

Read More

Nursing Home Families Yearn to Visit Loved Ones Again

By Paula Span, NY Times, August 14 2020 Cathy Baum, right, and her husband, Mark, visited her mother, Paulette Becker, at Tall Oaks Assisted Living in Reston, Va., earlier this month.  Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times Struck hard by the pandemic, long-term and assisted living facilities shut their doors to outsiders. Many still have not reopened.

Read More

As COVID-19 Numbers Improve, Florida Considers Nursing Home Visits

By Greg Allen, NPR, August 4 2020 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference Monday along with Dr. Joshua Lenchus, chief medical officer of Broward Health Medical Center. DeSantis says he’s exploring ways to open nursing homes for family member visits. Wilfredo Lee/AP Officials in Florida say cases of the coronavirus are continuing to decline, an indication that efforts to halt the spread of the disease are working.

Read More

No Visitors Leading to Despair and Isolation in Senior Care Homes

By Jared Whitlock, Voice of San Diego, July 28 2020 Natasha Josefowitz looks beyond her balcony at the White Sands Retirement Community in La Jolla. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz When Jan Thompson drops off care packages to her 95-year-old mom, about 8 feet separate them. It’s the closest they’ve been in a while. Her mom lives at Monte Vista Village in Lemon Grove.

Read More

Through the looking-glass: Family members fight restricted access to loved ones in long-term care

By Barbara Feder Ostrov and Jocelyn Wiener, Cal Matters, July 23 2020 Caroline Harrison, left, Jackson Harrison Shirk, 11, right, and his mother, Virginia Harrison, far right, visit with Jackson’s grandmother, Debbie, center, at The Chaparral House, the Berkeley skilled nursing facility where Debbie has lived for the past three years. Debbie, who family members refer to as mama bear, suffers from dementia and is largely unresponsive during her family’s near-daily socially distant visits.

Read More

Parents of autistic son beg Florida Gov. DeSantis to lift coronavirus mandate barring visitors in group homes

By Yael Halon, Fox News, July 22 2020 As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Americans are embracing a new “normal” and trying to adapt to everyday life in a time of fear and uncertainty. But for children with an autism spectrum disorder — which affects about one in 54 children in the U.S., according to federal estimates — adjusting to change presents a far greater challenge, as has been the case for 26-year-old Billy Caulley.

Read More

From Outdoor Visits to Designated Family Caregivers, Nursing Homes Cautiously Reopen Doors

By Maggie Flynn, Skilled Nursing News, July 21 2020 When it became apparent that COVID-19 was sweeping the country, one of the earliest major preventative steps was a move by the federal government to instate a near-total lockdown on any unnecessary visits. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the sweeping ban on March 13, which did include an exception for end-of-life visitations.

Read More