‘Voices for Seniors’ want Gov. Cuomo to lift restrictions in nursing homes & assisted living facilities

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GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — A group called “Voices for Seniors” is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fully open nursing facilities so they can visit their loved ones. 

Joanne Thomas with the organization, talked about her father’s service in the army. Thomas says he’s now living in an assisted living facility in Greece  and vows to fight not only for him but for other veterans and seniors in the area.

“I know your pain. I know what you’re going through,” said Thomas. “His motto was, fight for those who fight for you and so he did.” 

Local state lawmakers, leaders and community members rallied on the lawn of the American Legion Greece Post 468 Wednesday. They are calling on Governor Cuomo to take immediate action to allow family members to fully visit their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

“My first granddaughter was born during covid. I couldn’t see her for two months, but I knew I would have time to see her then. That is not the case with many individuals that are in these adult and senior living facilities. days lost are days lost forever,” said Supervisor Bill Reilich, with the Town of Greece. 

“It’s unconscionable that our governor and this administration has neglected our greatest generation and walked away from these families,” said Assemblyman Jake Ashby, (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) 

Back in July, the state allowed limited visitations for facilities that have been without the virus for at least 28 days. A threshold set by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Voices for Seniors want to reduce that to 14 days or less, claiming that their family members can’t go on living in isolation. 

“They say they listen to the experts and express what they say about isolation. isolation kills. the virus doesn’t kill. Isolation kills and they’re killing our parents,” said Thomas. 

With the Finger Lakes Region’s infection rate lower than other parts in the state, these advocates feel it has been unfair to them when they see other establishments reopen to the general public. 

“They are our first protectors. it’s our duty to be there for them as they grow old and we’re being robbed of that,” said Gelsey Randazzo

Advocates say that the senior citizen’s mental health has diminished tremendously within the last six months. They’re hoping a change will happen fast that way they can go visit them as the holidays approach us.  If not they tell us they’ll take legal action.

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