Nursing home advocates: 2nd lockdown could be devastating to residents' mental health

Advocates say it could be devastating to residents' mental health if nursing homes and assisted living centers close down again amid fears of a second COVID-19 wave.

News 12 Staff

Nov 17, 2020, 1:23 AM

Updated 1,303 days ago

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Advocates say it could be devastating to residents' mental health if nursing homes and assisted living centers close down again amid fears of a second COVID-19 wave.
"My mother passed away on Election Day," says Liz Stern, of Stonington.
Her mother died in a nursing home, and she says she never got to say goodbye to the love of her life.
"Married 69 years this week. They had not seen each other for nine months. My father is not accepting the death of my mother," Stern says.
A new state panel heard a dire warning Monday - that depression is gripping long-term care homes.
"We have had more suicide threats or verbalizations of, 'I would rather -- I just wish I would die because I just can't live in a world like this anymore,'" says Annette Cochefski, of Brookdale Senior Living.
"One of the challenges currently is that, if there's a positive case in a long-term care setting, all indoor visits stop. Outdoor visits should not be stopping," says Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Mairead Painter.
A separate panel also began looking at staffing. Nursing homes say they're having trouble recruiting workers and paying them.
"When we start discussing things like increasing worker pay and benefits, and increasing minimum staffing ratios, there will be a cost to that," says Mag Morelli, of LeadingAge Connecticut.
Experts say both keeping the virus out and letting people still see their loved ones is going to require some out-of-the-box ideas.


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