Letters to the Editor: The agony of having family in locked-down nursing homes

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Los Angeles Times, May 9 2020

With more than 100 patients and 60 staff members sickened, the Redwood Springs Health Center in Visalia, Calif., has been hit hard by the coronavirus. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I have family members in assisted living facilities. As they are across the nation, these facilities are completely locked down to visitors. (“This nursing home had California’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak. ‘We weren’t prepared,’” May 2)

My mom and aunt have recently experienced non-coronavirus emergencies, and my family is so distraught at being unable to visit. I have even heard the closures will remain in place until there is a vaccine. Can they really mean no family visits for 18 months or more?

Is anyone working on protective gear that families may be able to don in order to visit loved ones in high-risk facilities? Even if we can’t give them a hug, being in the same room with them six feet apart would make a huge difference.

Please spread the word to entrepreneurs and companies looking for ways to help to start working on ideas for this vulnerable population and their families.

Jane Weil, Ojai


To the editor: I am 82. My wife is in a nursing home because I cannot take care of her. Nursing home placement is a necessity for her, not a luxury.

If people get the idea that nursing home residents might be better served at home right now, they are mistaken. Your editorial focus, which is almost exclusively on the negative aspects of nursing home care, places these facilities under even more stress when they are doing their best during an extraordinary time.

This also does a disservice to those of us who rely on nursing homes to help care for our loved ones.

David Strauss, Arcadia


To the editor: Nursing-home chain operators complain that the government didn’t provide them with enough masks. This is like a trucking company demanding that the government provide them with wheels.

These are skilled nursing facilities and, as such, should be equipped to prevent the spread of infection.

Far from being protected from litigation, these chains should be driven into receivership, broken up and properly regulated.

John Sherwood, Topanga