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My father has been living in a LTC facility for 16 months. For the past 3 months, it’s been on lockdown. I used to visit my dad every day - most times for 3 or 4 hrs, but since March, no visitors, no activities, no entertainment. NOTHING IS GOING ON. I FaceTime him as much as possible and still talk to him on the phone every day, but there’s no doubt that it’s lonely and isolating. Besides that, my father contracted COVID a month ago and is now in a quarentined unit. He had very mild symptoms (which was good) but he still had it and as a result, he’s further isolated now that he’s in the quarentined unit (an area the is closed off for any resident who tested positive). The facility hasn’t retested him to see if he’s negative. They told me that residents who previously Tested positive are not on the list of who needs to be retested (according to the CDC). There is no end in sight as to when I will get to actually see him. The facility that he pays roughly 14,000/month for has completely changed as a result of this Covid nightmare. Nothing is going on and residents are expected to be satisfied with independent activities. Employees who work there get to go home, go shopping g, and do whatever they do before coming in the next day for work. They get screened but why can’t I go through the same screening to be able to see my father? I barely get updates on his status and I can’t check up on him (in person) to make sure that he is emotionally well. Is it wrong of me to expect more of an explanation as to why there hasn’t been a reduction in his monthly bill? How do I handle this?

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I am grateful (as always) to the caring staff, but angry at the facility for these unyielding, one-size-fits-all policies for the Covid virus. My mom is 91 and in a memory unit. She had symptoms, was tested for the virus (positive) and immediately placed on Z-PAC treatment (ezythrimiacin, zinc, hydrochloroquin). Symptoms disappeared and she later tested negative. Still we are not allowed to pick her up at the door to take her out for a visit.

Everyday, we wave to mom thru the closed window...she no longer knows how to use the phone so we can't talk to her. We are not allowed to have the window open. Mom is confined to her room, alone, bored, loosing her mind and body.

Before the lockdown in March: Mom could walk on her own (though we discouraged it). Mom called us and picked up the phone when called. She loved meal times in the dining room where they played Mitch Miller and everyone sang along as they ate. Mom loved the music and Bingo in the common room. All of that is gone as everyone is confined to their rooms just like in a hospital but w/o visitors.

Today my mom can't operate a phone. She cannot even stand up as she is so weak. Her teeth are missing (probably thrown out in the trash w/ paper plates the meals are served on), and she is down to 97 lbs on her 5'5 frame. She sailed thru the virus but the isolation is killing her. The staff tells me all of the Memory unit residents have stopped eating since lockdown.

Why are we locking down people who are losing their minds. The isolation is speeding up the process. I think loved ones of these inmates are OK with them dying but dying alone is heartbreaking for all. In July the facility will review their policies. Will anything change? Will Mom recognize us or even live long enough till we can touch her and talk to her once more. They let out convicts for their health but keep our elderly locked up & dying from the isolation. I am ANGRY and telling me that we all must sacrifice at this time does not help. We are not equally "all in this together". I don't know if the CDC is pushing this, the Government regs, the facility, malpractice lawyers or what. But it is wrong and sinful to isolate these dying souls in the memory units.
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Reply to ILUVDOGS2
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My mom is in assisted living since 2017. They just informed us that her monthly cost is increasing $800 bcuz she needs more assistance. Well yes bcuz she is isolated and depressed. Has dementia but lucid just about every other day.....
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Reply to Mooskie
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I understand your frustration. Group situations make it hard to control exposure to diseases, especially airborne diseases like COVID-19. Since staff have been educated and rigorously screened, they care for the residents as essential workers. The facility has no control over "visitors" - wearing an N95 face mask, maintaining social distance, keeping their social contacts outside of work limited... - which makes visitors a huge liability. Any visitor can come in and have the virus without showing any signs or symptoms. It only takes a touch to a loved one who will than transfer the virus to their face or other mucus membranes. With all the increased measures for hygiene, distancing,.. the facilities tasks have increased. Do not expect any reduction in his payment.

For now, you will not be able to see your father in person. Be creative in finding ways to communicate your love. Try "window visits" where your loved one is next to a first floor window and you talk on the phone while seeing each other. Ask the facility if they can set up online meetings so you can talk and see each other. Send letters and pictures.

When all people are either positive for the antibodies or have been vaccinated, then we will be able to see each other in person again.
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Reply to Taarna
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No reduced rates, actually had an increase.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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See my note on your other thread to this effect.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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The isolation is cruel. And I agree you should be able to visit your father with screening.
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Reply to MammaDrama
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dogparkmomma 1 hour ago
You might agree but the facility has protocol and screening is not infallible. They let no family members in unless the person is about to die. How would they screen you? Take your temp; just says you don't have one now. Even a negative Covid test only says you don't have it now. You would have to quarantine, really quarantine for 14 days before a visit and then prior to any other visits. No one has seen their family members inside the facilities. My mother's facility arranged for a visit where we sat outside and she was 7 feet away.
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They raised the daily rate for my wife from $300 to $330, said it was increased cost of PPE.
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FloridaDD May 23, 2020
Did you have a contract?   Does it allow this?  I do see how some things cost more, but a contract is a contract
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Although your father has fewer activities available and although you can't visit him, the expenses of his LTC facility have probably not gone down and may, in fact, have increased. Many places are paying salaried staff who may be furloughed at least part of their salary, and for regular hourly employees who may be furloughed facilities are paying at least part of their hourly pay, especially if they're not eligible for unemployment benefits. The facility's so doing is both a humanitarian and a pragmaticeffort: when the lockdown is over, they want to have maintained their employees. Those staff who are working have extra demands; for example, at least part of the residents would have eaten in the dining room prior to the lockdown, while all residents are now probably being served individually in their rooms. Maintaining separate living areas for those who test positive and frequently havimg to move people to different rooms or into isolation is another expense. The extra efforts to keep residents and employees free from the disease is very time-demanding and personnel-demanding. I'm sorry your father af the disease, but glad he recovred, and I'm sure you want the LTC facility to do all it can to keep others well. Those employees who are working in LTC facilities are also risking their lives to take care of the residents, often having to pay others to take care of their children who are now not in school.

Most of us are having our lives constricted in some ways right now--usually in ways that cost us more than our normal living expenses or that prevent us from earning our normal pay. What is happening in your father's LTC facility is happening all over the country, It may seem unfair that he's not getting all the opportunities he normally has, but it's not anymore unfair than constrictions on people's lives elsewhere. In this situation, your father is in some ways receiving more care than he was, not less, just not the kind of care you or he would prefer. That change is not one for which it would make sense to reduce charges.

I do think it 's worth it to pursue your father's being tested again (there would need to be 2 consecutive negative tests, I believe) if that might result in his moving back to his former room. However, there still may not be enough tests available for his LTC facility to do as much testing as they think they should. Again, this has been a very common problem in the U.S. (I believe you are in the U.S.?)
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Reply to caroli1
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My mom's memory care hasn't reduced rent and I would not expect it. They have been so overwhelmed with this virus and as we know the LTC's were the last to get PPE. God bless all of those caregivers who hung in there to care for our families!!! I know mom gets bored and misses the entertainers that used to come in. Mom tested positive and beat covid at 96! Covid has changed everything everywhere and I'm grateful every day for what they did to keep residents as safe as possible. I am able to talk to her daily on her own cell phone and she is back to her bored complaining self. Bless those caregivers. They probably saved my life just as much as the saved hers. Oh, and the good thing about dementia, she doesn't remember if I was there today or 3 months ago. Take the blessings where you get them.
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Reply to mymomisold
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I doubt they reduced staffing but I expect they had you purchase at ton of PPE at higher prices. Also includes costs for disposable plates and plastic ware. Staff needs more time to safely deliver food to rooms, help with face time, and do individualized entertainment. I have a feeling that to recover these expenses, the next round of rent payments will go up.

Now you posted more than a question. We are all experiencing lockdown and I suspect this can go on for a year. One psychiatrist explained the disconnect is similar to fighting a war. We cannot go back to the past yet and the future is so uncertain to plan. Even if I was working, I am not seeking entertainment when I get outside like shopping. . Hospitals are also locked down. Outside people entering bring in the virus to a vulnerable population and takes away from busy caregivers duties. If you are feeling too much anxiety about this, then seek someone to help you cope.
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