Allow Family to Visit their Loved Ones in Nursing Homes!

Allow Family to Visit their Loved Ones in Nursing Homes!

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Serena Bumpus started this petition to State of Texas and

I need your help! As a nurse, I want to begin this very long message to say I do understand the rationale for Governor Abbott’s Executive Order to close nursing homes to the public due to their vulnerability and susceptibility to COVID-19. While I appreciate the protection of our loved ones in Long Term Care facilities, it is time to reconsider this EO. Our elderly population is suffering greatly as a result. We have not seen our family members since March 11th. I'm not even sure the EO has met it's intent considering the very employee's who work there are spreading it to this very vulnerable population. My grandparent's nursing home in Cedar Park, Texas had 60 residents test positive and 7 staff members. Below is the nightmare and personal experience My family is currently going through. I share this with you in hopes that it triggers both empathy and sympathy for what our families are going through. I’m sure we aren’t the only family members who have had this Kind of  tragic experience! 

PICTURE THIS!!!! Your parents are in a nursing home. The Governor orders nursing homes to be LOCKED down in March which means you can't visit them - YOU (and all of the family)are their ONLY lifeline to staying somewhat happy. Then one of your parents turns up positive for Covid and gets moved away from her husband and is quarantined...with NO symptoms...and has remained asymptomatic this entire time. She is placed in isolation and essentially one step above solitary confinement.  Your parent who is not Covid positive has dementia so has no idea where his wife of 69 years has gone and when you 'visit' him through a window; he looks at where she is supposed to be and then looks at you. You are trying to SHOUT through the window to help this poor man with dementia understand where his wife is. Your parent is now quarantined for almost 4 weeks because the labs are sooooooo backed up the facility can't get her results back to clear her.  Her first re-test was 10 days ago and we have yet to get the test results back much less the results of the 2nd re-test that was 4 days later. Then the worst happens. The parent who is NOT quarantined dies, without his wife, your mom, present. You cannot visit your mom to tell her that her husband of almost 70 years has died. You spend an entire morning; begging and pleading the facility to find someway that you can at least deliver this devastating news to her in person - not on the phone and not via a virtual chat. Finally, they decide to take her outside and we, her family, can tell her through a gate; WITH OUR MASKS ON and 6 feet apart that her husband died that morning. You have to stand there....shout it at her because she is very hard of hearing and you are 6 feet from each other. You then have to watch her as she cries out loud "OH NO!" and puts her face in her hands - and you can't do a darn thing to comfort her. And then you just leave. Your parents were forced to be apart for almost 4 weeks without seeing each other or any contact whatsoever; one parent dies; and you have to tell the other one through a gate without being able to comfort them or stay with them. ALL because some employee (s) chose NOT to follow the guidelines - probably not wearing a mask- outside of the work setting. Today, we learned, despite not having her test results back, she would be returning back to her original facility. But, we are still not allowed to have any contact with her. We still cannot provide her with the comfort she so desperately needs right now. In addition, we were also told today that she CANNOT attend her husband's funeral. Wait...What???!!!! A woman who has been married to the love of her life for almost 70 years, never been away from him for longer than two days, is not allowed to attend her husband's funeral??? Nothing about this is ok!!! As a nurse, I know and have witnessed the detrimental impact this EO is having on the residents in our LTC facilities. It is also taking a major toll on the people who work in those facilities too because they know how important it is for this population to have contact with their loved ones. 

It’s time for change! This population needs to have face to face contact with their family members! This woman, my grandmother, deserves to attend her husband's funeral!   We can no longer isolate this population. Please help me get the Governor’s EO changed to allow family visits. 
Thank you, 

Serena Bumpus, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

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