Families believe isolation leads to health declines in nursing homes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) –Nursing homes and assisted living centers restricted visitors when COVID-19 hit. But even with those window visits and now outdoor visitations, some families say it’s not enough 

There are multiple groups on Facebook called “Caregivers for Compromise” with thousands of people. They share experiences of love ones dying and believe isolation is causing declines in their health and even death. This group fueled one Canal Winchester woman to step in and save her mother before it was too late.

“I would drive two hours and when I visited I would stay for five hours. Once COVID hit, I couldn’t get into her room to tidy things up, I couldn’t touch her,” explained Bev Martin.

Bev Martins mother, Marjorie Bumb, has had three strokes and was put into a nursing home, a nursing home Martin loved. She knew her mother, 84, was being treated well and she enjoyed her time there. 

“She was doing pretty well but I could see from March 11 until mid-June that she was declining.” 

Once visitation was cut off except for through windows, Martin says her mother started to throw up, she stopped eating and was on a steady decline. That’s when she decided to put her mother on hospice. She knew while on hospice she could at least visit her in person, despite certain regulations. 

“I thought here we go, this is not covid but it’s because of covid restrictions that she’s giving up,” noted Martin. “She was like why live if you don’t get to see everyone anyway.”

She got a call from a nurse while she was on hospice care saying she was rapidly declining. But because they had a positive COVID-19 case, she wasn’t allowed to visit anymore, even with hospice exceptions. They told her when she was in the final stages of life, she would be called.

“I thought, I’m not going to see my mom again until she’s dying like that was not okay with me.”

After reading horror stories on Facebook and the visitation changing almost weekly she knew she had to do something for her mother. A few days later after she tested negative and her mother did as well, she brought her home.

“She’s like yes raising her hands like going yes like in The Breakfast Club.”

Now after months of isolation and a near-death experience, Marg is smiling, eating, taking her medications and spending time with her great-grandchildren almost daily.

It hasn’t been easy for Bev and her husband but she says if she left her there, her days would have been numbered. “Now I think she can live a happy existence for the rest of her days.”

Bev says not everyone can do what she’s doing for her mother but hopes if covid restrictions continue, lawmakers step in to make some changes. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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