An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Nation-wide Long Term Care Isolation Crisis

431 so far! Let’s get to 500 signers!

As we tackle issues in long term care at our state levels, we see a huge disparity in the increments of rights being restored to long term care residents across the country. The rights granted in the Code of Federal Regulations - § 483.10 Resident Rights - cannot be waived or paused and yet, that is what the United States has done. It is time for our leaders at the national level to work to restore the rights removed from the population that must live with 24/7 supervision or 24/7 skilled nursing to survive in order to survive. United States citizens are dying alone. Adults with cognitive disorders are wondering why Mommy abandoned them. Blind and deaf residents are experiencing a new kind of blindness and deafness. Critical care patients are being denied access to hospice aides. Life-long spouses have been separated for eight months. Court-appointed guardians cannot assess living conditions. End end-of-life visits are denied if the family member comes from out of state due to a 14 day quarantine requirement. And, thousands upon thousands of people have died alone. Utterly alone. They are not all dying of Covid-19 but also of the Covid-19 protocol that causes extreme despondency, weight loss, and rapid cognitive decline. What if the next pandemic affects only people of African American, Middle Eastern, Asian, or Mexican descent? Would we remove their rights in the name of safety? Suppose the next pandemic only affects children of a certain age. Would we forbid mothers to leave home with toddlers? Some states mandate facilities to provide access with certain infection control policies. Other states make it optional or have no visitation guidelines in place. Federal involvement is overdue and the rights stripped from this vulnerable population must be restored as safely and uniformly as possible so that no person dies solely because they are unfortunate enough to have lived in a state that imposes strict isolation protocols. We have set an extremely dangerous precedent and it is time for it to end. The rights of no population of people should end the moment a pandemic begins. Covid-19 is not the only threat to long term care residents. Isolation kills, too.

First sent on October 21, 2020 by Texas Caregivers for Compromise

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