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Letter: Long-term care facilities could use more support

There will always be time for blame but right now the facilities caring for our seniors need our support.

As a daughter and former caregiver to a loved one who died in a nursing home of a rare dementia, and currently work in our community volunteering on behalf of our seniors I am becoming increasingly concerned with the lack of support our governor is showing for the residents and staff in our long term care and nursing facilities.

The governor refers to nursing homes as “ground zero” for the virus, adding that what is happening is “what we’ve feared from the get-go.” These nursing and long-term care facilities were never intended to act as hospitals.

The nursing staff and aides, though they are doing their best are not trained to care for people with the acute symptoms of Covid-19.

Most of the buildings housing our seniors were not built to segregate individuals with highly infectious disease from those that are healthy.

As the governor has said, “It just takes one (infected) person and the virus will spread like fire through dry grass.”

For weeks now the wildfires the governor predicted are raging through our elderly community and as far as I can tell there is little help on the way.

New York State must partner with and support these residents, their families and the facility operators to ensure the protection of this critical population.

This is a time to rethink and reimagine how we live and work in our “new normal.” I urge the governor, county leaders, hospital administrators, long-term care facility operators and nonprofit organizations to come together now to protect and care for our elderly.

Maureen Griffin Tomczak


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