St. John’s Joins Senior Care Alliance Advocating for Visitation

The Alliance for Senior Care– a local organization made up of five area nursing homes, including St. John’s– pushed for solutions this week to better connect long-term care residents with their loved ones. Members of the group believe that current visitation policies are too restrictive, and can be detrimental to the health and well-being of residents. The alliance is advocating for reforms to New York State’s mandates requiring a 28-day period free of new COVID-19 cases among residents and staff prior to allowing in-person visitation.

“It’s puts them at higher risk for cognitive decline,” said Nate Sweeney, St. John’s Vice President of Skilled Services about how extended separation from loved ones can affect nursing home residents. “What we are saying is there has to be a way to get people connected back to their loved ones in a more meaningful way.”

Watch 13WHAM’s coverage of advocacy efforts from Tuesday, September 1.

“It has been heartbreaking to watch the anticipation of residents and loved ones as St. John’s Home approached the final days of this required window, only to reach Day 27 with the occurrence of a positive staff test result, which forced us to start the counter again,” St. John’s President and CEO Charlie Runyon said on behalf of the alliance. “While we have been pleased to be able to offer interim measures, such as video chats and window visits, we believe as strongly as our families do that these compromises to in-person visits are not equivalent and cannot be the best long-term solution.”

If you would like to participate in advocacy efforts to help bring a new approach to current visitation restrictions at St. John’s Home and other long-term care facilities, view our CEO letter from August 20 and lend your voice to this important movement.


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