This holiday marks a return to visits in nursing homes for some who were not able to see family for the holidays last fall and winter as long-term care facilities kept visitors out to try to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
AARP state director, Brad Anderson, says it’s a much better situation for many this Thanksgiving.
“It’s remarkable because 12 months ago, we were handing out iPads, and people were celebrating Thanksgiving over Zoom in nursing homes. And we were seeing people from outside their windows, knocking on windows and trying to connect with them through panes of glass. And it was just heartbreaking,” Anderson says.
Anderson says Iowans need to do everything they can to prevent more nursing home lockdowns, and he says that starts with getting vaccinated. “The vaccine is the best gift of all this holiday season. And it’s allowing us to safely be with the people we love. And what more could you ask for?,” Anderson says.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that there were COVID outbreaks in 27 of the state’s 430 long-term care facilities. One-third of the nursing homes in the state had COVID outbreaks at this time last year.
(By Katrina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio)