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Rep. Sortwell urges elderly care homes to allow visits

The Brillion News

TOWN OF GIBSON - State Representative Shae Sortwell, R-Gibson, is calling on nursing homes and assisted living homes to do what it takes to allow residents to have visits from families and friends.

He said some constituents told him they are still unable to visit elderly and disabled family members in nursing and assisted living homes one month after Governor Evers’ Safer at Home order has been lifted.

“Now that Safer at Home has been lifted and the Coronavirus data shows strong trends in the right direction, I am making a personal appeal that nursing and assisted living facilities work with our communities to allow for safe visitations.” Sortwell said on Tuesday, June 9. “We have become aware of at least one local facility that allows for in-person family visitations. They have strict guidelines to protect the health of those under their care: visits must be outside, for a maximum of 30 minutes, five visitors or less, socially-distanced at six feet apart, and participants must wear masks and refrain from physical contact."

He said those guidelines are in keeping with all the best practices coming from health care officials.

“While every facility has the prerogative and the right to follow their own policies, it seems to me and others I’ve talked to that these common sense guidelines could provide real mental, emotional, and spiritual relief for everyone who has been forced to stay away from their loved ones for nearly three months now," he said.

Sortwell said he's worried that social isolation, depression, and loneliness can be extremely harmful to health and well-being. He said common sense safety policies may be able to provide relief to families that are hurting and need to visit loved ones, and that should at least be earnestly considered.

"The people of our communities deserve that much after all they have sacrificed during this pandemic,” Sortwell said.

Early in the pandemic, Sortwell was critical of policies that prevented family members from being with elderly relatives at the time of death.


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