Families Push For Nursing Homes To Allow Face-To-Face Visits

Friday, August 14th 2020, 4:13 pm
By: Mallory Thomas

TULSA, Okla. -

After months of only seeing loved ones through video calls and window visits, many families want nursing homes and long-term care facilities to start allowing face to face visits. 

An Executive Order from Governor Stitt's office allows care facilities to open based on the number of positive cases in each county and the number of new COVID cases needs to decrease or at least stabilize for 14 days before facilities in that county can begin to re-open. 

"We've done a couple of window visits, sometimes they help and sometimes they don't because she wants to hug us and hold her dog and that touch that's not there anymore because they're locked down," said Alicia Campbell.

Campbell said she is worried about her mother, Carolyn Brown who is in a nursing home and the possibility that her care is falling through the cracks. 

"I just wish they would take another look at it. Maybe re-evaluate the fact that we could go in, maybe one family member per resident once a week, even wear the proper PPE of course," said Campbell.

Even though Alicia's mom is not in a Diakonos Group facility, they are seeing the same type of requests. 

"That sounds like a good idea, having one designated family member coming in," Kimberly Green, COO of Diakonos Group said. "However that's one person, one extra person per resident that would be coming into the building and that risk of exposure is significant,."

Diakonos Group owns 20 nursing home and long term care facilities across Oklahoma. Green said she understands the pain Alicia is going through.

"It's been since March since I got to hug my mom and my dad and that is devastating to me," said Green. 

Since Governor Stitt's executive order to follow CDC guidelines, Green said their facilities have gotten creative with video calls, window visits, and even video game nights. She said residents want to see their families, but said they have their own requests too.

"They're watching the news and they don't want us to open up the doors yet. They want things to be more stable as well," said Green. 

Campbell believes some of the elderly residents are willing to risk it to see their loved ones again. 

"They want to see their family members, they want to see their pets, they want to go outside," said Campbell.