Karla Abraham-Conley's mother died during the pandemic, after spending several months in a nursing home. But Abraham-Conley's fight for the rights of those in nursing homes and their families, continues. She says no one wins, with the state's new guidance for nursing home visitation.
"Nothing's changing. Nothing," says Abraham-Conley. "It is no different. It is no diffferent, so I think the false hope here is 'Oh, yay! We're gonna get in!' No, you're not. I knew if from day one. No, you're not."
Like many others, Abraham-Conley says the prohibitive criteria is the 14-day covid-free rule.
"Not huge numbers, but all it takes is one. One staff person can restart our clock for 14 days," says Jim Enos, Director of Social Work for Utica Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. He and his staff have been fielding endless phone calls from family members.
"It is disappointing and quite honestly it is disappointing to us as well," says Enos.
Enos does say that one new facet of the state's new visitation guidance could, in some instances, pave the way inside a nursing home.
"One thing that is opened up a little bit is our opportunity for compassionate care visits where you don't necessarily have to be end of life to grant a visit to a family member," says Enos.
Also baffled by the new state guidance-Senator Joe Griffo.
"Even the established time frame for the vaccinations, I still don't understand why after 90 days you have to go have a test," says Senator Griffo. "Is there something nobody's telling us? Does the vaccine only work for 90 days? This is ridiculous."
Like Abraham-Conley, Griffo's continues to push for progress toward in-person visitation.
"This needs to work; not just something that you put out there to make it look good, it's gotta be something that really allows for visitation the way it needs to be and should be," says Senator Griffo. "We're gonna continue to question and suggest and I'm hopeful that these will be modified."