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Greece family left wondering why their nursing home visits have been cut off



GREECE, N.Y. — It was announced nursing home visits could resume on July 15.

It was met by a lot of celebration, and regulation.

Some residents in the area say they have been met with more roadblocks to seeing loved ones.

Tammy O’Brien says the visit with her dad in a nursing home last week, the first in months, was perfect. As perfect as it could be in the age of Covid-19.

“Everything was great. You go in, you’re masked up, they take your temperature,” she says adding, “(We talked about) everything. Baseball, Yankees … everything.”

But then, a shift in strategy. Visitations for O’Brien and her family were cut off, and she says they’re not alone. O’Brien says no one in her party tested positive for Covid-19 and the home her father is in has not had a single case of coronavirus (out of respect for the staff, O’Brien has asked the facility not be named).

O’Brien says the sudden announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 10 to start allowing visits just days later might have left some homes scrambling to make preparations, only to find out they weren’t fully ready.

There are so many things she says could be happening behind the scenes, she just wants some communication. O’Brien says if there is a positive Covid case, that could set the clock and dates back for everyone.

“I’ve heard there’s a lot of paperwork involved, and New York State changed their requests for their opening plans so, I don’t know,” she says.

And the requirements and precautions to allow visitations are lengthy. Extra PPE, distance, added sanitation, and initial quarantine times are just a start. O’Brien’s father, who has dementia, is again confused as to why he can’t see his daughter face to face.

“I talk to him (on the phone) daily. Like five to six times a day. He doesn’t understand,” she says.

O’Brien’s message for Albany: Please review the situation and get loved ones face to face before it’s too late.

“With proper protection and everything…these people are declining and they’re going downhill fast. A lot of families won’t be able to see their loved ones if this continues.”

O’Brien didn’t want News 8 to name the nursing home.

News 8 did reach out to a number of area homes to see what their visiting situation is like, and have yet to hear back.

Be sure to stay with News 8 as this story as is develops.