By Leigh Ann Hubbard

I am still angry. … Not angry. What’s the word for, “This was wrong, and they’ll never admit it?”

On LinkedIn, Jen Ryan Galantowicz noted the anniversary of an ominous advisory last week:

CMS wouldn’t reverse course for a year.

People died without family — and sooner than they would have. “Failure to thrive.”

Family-turned-activists lobbied for months: Allow compassionate care, they pleaded. Let a family member in with all the PPE on. Let us support the staff, comfort loved ones with dementia who don’t understand, keep up spirits, say goodbye.

They knew. We all knew. This policy was killing people — by misery. And well before it ended, it had gone on far too long.

But the dying people were old — going to die anyway. At least they didn’t increase the COVID count.

At least society didn’t have to look at them, inside those walls.

CMS now says visitation must be allowed. But they will never apologize for the fact that they took so long to get there.

Visitation must be permitted at all times with very limited and rare exceptions, in accordance with residents’ rights.
— “Nursing Home Visitation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),” PDF

“Residents’ rights.”

I am … what’s the word?


I am sorry.

I remember.

Never Again?

It will happen again. Unless we remember … and determine that it doesn’t.

The folks behind Caregivers for Compromise are advocating for the passage of a bill called the Essential Caregiver Act, H.R.3733. From the congressional summary:

Under the program, facilities must allow each resident to select up to two essential caregivers to provide daily living assistance, emotional support, or companionship during the emergency.

It’s worded as if it were the “facilities’” fault that family members weren’t allowed in. But I suppose that’s politics. I would love to hear from you about this bill. Do you support it? Why or why not?