BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio nursing homes are officially allowed to let families visit their elderly loved-ones outdoors Monday, but not every facility is jumping at the chance to do so. That’s left many family members saying they’re frustrated and upset.
Scott Reynolds is one of them. He’s part of a grassroots effort to let nursing homes allow families to check in on their loved ones.
The issue is personal for him. He says he’s worried his mother, Francene, who resides at Berkley Square in Hamilton, will pass before he can make contact with her again.
“We’re on borrowed time,” Reynolds told FOX19 NOW Monday. “We’re running out of time. My mom could die tonight. She could die next week.”
Reynolds says he used to visit his mother several times per week, but over the last few months, he’s only been able to see her through a window.
According to an email he received from Berkley Square last Friday, visitations will remain prohibited while Butler County is at a “high risk” for spread of the virus.
“Try explaining that to someone who has Alzheimers and dementia,” he said. “They’re not going to comprehend it.
“My mother is banging on the window asking me to come in,” he said. “Well, I can’t explain that to my mother and have her comprehend why I can’t.”
Berkley Square provided the following statement to FOX19 NOW:
“ODH Director’s Order, both Berkeley Square and Westover began outdoor visitation for Independent Living Apartment and Assisted Living residents on Monday, June 8. This includes Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care residents at Berkeley Square as that wing is licensed as Assisted Living.
“Last week Butler County had a significant spike – we were talking about potentially going to purple 4-5 days ago – due to this significantly increased risk we feel that temporary pausing restriction is the best way to keep residents safe and healthy.
“As we see the risk decrease, we will reconvene visitation for all residents.
“The director’s order has allowed the salon to serve one resident at a time. It’s just it’s ony for people who live in the main building. The people who live on campus in independent homes are not able to come in at this time.”
A spokesperson for the facility also tells FOX19 NOW they are monitoring the risk indicators daily and are hopeful visitations will resume by next week.