SAPULPA, Okla. — Six months and counting, a Tulsa woman is waiting for the day she can see her elderly mom face-to-face at a Sapulpa nursing home.
The problem is the nursing home is prohibiting visits despite the state of Oklahoma saying it’s okay for families to visit loved ones.
“I’ve made a promise to her, ‘if we do this, if we put you in a home, you’re not going to be abandoned,’” said Joanna Potter to her mother weeks before moving her to Ranch Terrace Nursing Home in Sapulpa. Now, Potter feels like she’s going back on her promise.
To make matters worse, her mother struggles with dementia. Potter said her mother is scared, lonely and confused for why she and her brother can’t visit.
“I just need her to know, it’s okay," Potter said. "A video is not enough for her."
2 Works for You reached out to the Ranch Terrace but have not yet heard back from them. Looking for answers, Potter took her concerns straight to the governor's office. In the reply, it stated that, “On June 15, 2020, all state-wide restrictions placed on long term care facilities in May were removed.”
However, some nursing homes say they’re still not ready to open. We checked with other nursing homes in Tulsa, including the Villages at Southern Hill and Colonial Manor nursing center, who said they too are not allowing visitors for either current transmission within a facility or guidance from medicare.
Still, Potter feels like she’s running out of time.
“They need us. Their loneliness is killing them just as much as COVID ever would,” she said.
The state’s Ombudsman Office is working with the Oklahoma State Health Department to write new guidelines for nursing home visitations which should be available next week. Under those guidelines, they may be able to help you schedule a meeting with a resident under strict protocol.
For more information, you can contact their office by calling 1-800-211-2116 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on OSDH’s response to COVID-19, CLICK HERE.
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