EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this article was first published, Theresa Simmons' mother-in-law has passed away. Absolut Care notified the Simmons family that Corrine Simmons died at 6:45 a.m. Friday morning.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Having a loved one in a nursing home during COVID -19 has caused a lot of stress. Theresa Simmons' mother-in-law has been in and out of the Absolut Care of Aurora Park for the last few months. Simmons says she gets almost daily calls telling her that a new case of COVID-19 has been found in the facility.
"It's scary and it's sad," Simmons said.
Simmons now feels uneasy, especially after the state Attorney General's office released a report on nursing home COVID-19 response.
The report states that across the board:
- More residents died from the Coronavirus than initially reported
- A lack of PPE put residents at increased risk
- Insufficient COVID-19 testing early on put staff and residents at risk
- Nursing homes were not compliant with an executive order that required communication with family members
Health Commissioner Howard Zucker took issue with the AG's characterization. He said in a statement there was "no undercount." of reported deaths.
The lack of communication the Attorney General discussed is something Theresa Simmons has experienced firsthand. She hasn't spoken to her mother-in-law in a week despite multiple requests.
In a statement, Absolut Care disagreed that they have not been able to provide proper communication, saying;
"Throughout the pandemic, we encouraged people to use FaceTime and visit from the outside through loved ones' windows, and that continues."
Despite the encouragement to FaceTime, Simmons still waits, and after hearing of the report she now knows she isn't the only one with issues.
"I'm sure everybody knows that they're not the only one," Simmons said, "(you have to) keep the faith and not lose it. I just hope that better days are ahead."