What do you do when your father is isolated in a nursing home under quarantine and his only human contact is with staff members? If you’re Lisa Racine, you become a staff member. The Minnesota resident already has a full-time job as a project manager at a printing company, but she is moonlighting as a custodian at Good Samaritan Society Stillwater, mopping floors and cleaning dishes part-time at a Stillwater nursing home, which enables her to visit with her father, who is a resident.
"I can't believe they pay me for this," Racine told NBC affiliate KARE. "I could take a yoga class or go to happy hour, but I'd rather come and mop the floor and clean dishes so I can see my dad… He's cleaned up plenty of messes after me in the past."
Many of us are growing pretty tired of COVID social restrictions, but can you imagine going a year without spending any time with friends or loved ones? That’s what the nation’s entire nursing home population has endured for almost a year. Nursing homes and regulators have put a ban on almost all visitations at nursing homes across the country to combat the influx of potentially infected visitors to reduce the chance of an outbreak of COVID. The only people allowed in out of the nursing facility each day are staff members. So Racine asked if the nursing home where her father Harold (87) was living needed any help.
As it turned out, the pandemic has made it hard for the Good Samaritan Society nursing to find and keep employees, and it was actively looking for help. Plus, Lisa had a connection: her cousin Renne is an administrator at the facility.
"Having her reach out and wanting to come to work was an absolute godsend for us," Renee told KARE.
The first case of the virus in the United States occurred in a nursing home and it began a trend of catastrophic outbreaks in nursing homes across the country. To get control over the virus, nursing homes were forced to put a temporary ban on visitors to prevent infected visitors from bringing their germs into the nursing home. The restrictions on visitors helped to reduce the number of outbreaks, but it came with a dire cost: crippling loneliness and isolation for residents and their families.
People around the world have been coming up with creative ways to keep in touch with their loved ones in nursing homes without coming in direct contact. Lisa Racine says her second job at the nursing home enables her to visit with her dad, and it is a way for her to give back to the community. Her father Harold certainly appreciates his daughter’s thoughtfulness and creativity.
On the day in December when Harold saw her inside the nursing home, he described it as "one of the happiest days of my life.” He added, “I was shocked, really," he told KARE. "I was kind of dumbfounded. 'How did you get in?'"
Addressing Insufficient Care in Nursing Homes
COVID-19 may be the first global pandemic most of us have experienced, but deadly infections are not new to nursing homes. There was plenty of warning that we might find ourselves in this situation. Nursing home owners that made the choice to understaff their facilities should be held accountable for the way their decisions have affected thousands of families nationwide.
Brown & Barron, LLC continues to fight for the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. If insufficient care resulted in your loved one developing COVID-19 or another serious viral infection, we can help you determine whether you may be able to file a claim. Until our government steps up to make nursing homes provide the level of care patients deserve and families expect, we’ll continue to fight for those who suffer.
Call us today at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.