“They need hope to be able to see their families,” Geri Robinson said.
Robinson is the Administrator for the Park Creek Senior Assisted Living Community in the Town of Amherst.
March 12 was last time residents at Park Creek, or any nursing home or senior center were allowed to have visitors.
The state suspended visitation to all nursing homes and adult care facilities on March 13.
Robinson said the COVID-19 policy has no doubt impacted the senior, and memory care residents who live there.
“Many don’t understand why we have these restrictions in place, and we’ve been seeing some deterioration in their mental health,” she explained.
So, Park Creek is now allowing limited, scheduled visitation for its residents inside one of the back patios. “To be able to see them in the window is one thing. But, to see them face to face makes all the difference in the world."
Visitors can’t enter the apartments at any time. Instead, they have to walk around the outside of the building all the way to the back where the patio is located. And, once they’re inside, they can’t have any contact with the resident they’re visiting. Visitations are also by appointment only and limited to four family members at a time. Visitors are screened when they arrive.
Robinson knows some, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, might consider her approach a violation to the current rules in place statewide. But she said it’s a risk she’s willing to take.
“I’m just hoping that people understand that this is the right thing to do. My faith tells me this is the right thing to do. I just think we gotta do this,” Robinson said.