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Protests in Batavia over lack of visitation at nursing homes

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-12 17:55:32-04

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several people stood outside of Batavia City Hall Saturday morning to say they want to see their parents, who are staying in either a nursing home or an assisted care facility.

"They don't have group activities, they don't eat together anymore," said Beverly Noody, an advocate for seniors. "They have to distance them so that some of them are still eating in their rooms by themselves or with a roommate."

Noody said she hasn't been able to see her 94-year-old mother face-to-face since March tenth because of COVID-19 restrictions .

Dana Kelley, also an advocate for seniors, said her father is in assisted living, and the only way she could see him is through a window.

"We do window visits. Before the window visits were allowed, I would go stand on the ground and his floor was three floors up," she said.

Noody said she started advocating for all seniors after getting a handwritten letter from her mother.

"Beverly, I want to come home for good. I don't know how to get out of here, this is for good. I wish I could get out of this place, I would do anything to get away. I was told today this was forever. Do you know how I can get away? -Mom. See if you can do anything, I want to get out of here, I hope I can," she said as she read the letter out loud.

Protesters said they are able to be safe when visiting their parents, just like nurses and staff.

"We're not allowed in the facility, but staff are allowed in the facility. They can go to all the same places we can, and they go in and care for our parents while we have to sit six feet apart," said Joanne Thomson, whose father stays in an assisted care facility in Rochester.

"We can all be safe. If masks supposedly, if masks work why can't we go in and with masks and see him in the room?" said Kelley.

Noody said there are similar "Save Our Seniors" events happening around the country.