According to Mary Daniels Caregivers for Compromise group, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis must enact a new ordinance that allows visits to care facilities.
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla – The message: “Isolation Kills Too!” can be seen on a show of bright yellow signs that can’t be missed as you drive past them in Jacksonville Beach.
The 300 signs have the names of loved ones who either live in isolation or who died in isolation at a senior care facility in Florida due to state visit restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The signs go on a road trip through the state of Florida, from Jacksonville Beach to Tallahassee, Orlando and West Palm Beach. Organized by the Florida Caregivers for Compromise group, the purpose is to highlight the need for an executive order to allow family members to visit their loved ones who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We think it’s time to discuss and answer that question – ONE YEAR, TWO SHOTS, NOW WHAT?” the group said in a press release.
Mary Daniel, leader of the Facebook group Caregivers for Compromise, said: “We have been patient. But March 13th marks the anniversary of the lockdown. And we want our facilities to reopen.”
You may recall that Daniel is the woman from Jacksonville who took a dishwasher job so she could see her husband in his memory center. Her story went viral. She founded the Florida Caregivers for Compromise group, which now has thousands of members.
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Daniel says she got permission from the governor to post the signs on the grounds of the Capitol building in Tallahassee. Then the yellow signs continue to Orlando and West Palm Beach.
Daniel now says that seniors in long-term care facilities were offered the vaccines. It’s time to allow visits, some of which have already been requested by Governor Ron DeSantis but have not been made across Florida.
Daniel says, “Currently, compassionate caregivers can go to their loved ones, but many nursing homes and rehab facilities don’t allow it. Though I see my husband every night, there are literally tens of thousands of people who wouldn’t want the governor here in Florida to do the same We want the governor to issue a new emergency order so we can all see our loved ones. “
Below is the full statement from Daniel’s group:
“Visiting restrictions in place since March 13, 2020 to protect a vulnerable population have caused widespread devastation from the extreme weight loss, depression, and rapid cognitive decline caused by living in isolation and losing desire while Florida has been fortunate to have Governor Ron DeSantis spearheaded the nation by allowing Essential Caregivers and Compassionate Caregivers limited visits to assisted living facilities, many visitors to nursing homes and rehab facilities are still denied long-term care visitors due to individual facility rules Denied the opportunity to leave their facility without facing the gruesome punishment of individual quarantine on their return.
As an advocacy group representing thousands of residents living in long-term care facilities across Florida, we ask that you:
- Emergency Ordinance 20-011 must be enforced by the Health Administration Agency. The ordinance, signed by Jared Moskowitz on October 22, 2020, is currently in force but is not being enforced by the AHCA. Therefore, it has not helped families or local residents, only fueled the chaos and frustration of the families. The order clearly states that families can remove our loved ones from facilities without quarantine, but since its inception the facilities do not allow it and ACHA does not enforce it. It is unacceptable to have an order that is not enforced. After a year, families deserve an enforceable foundation as they fight for the rights of our loved ones. It’s time to enforce Emergency Ordinance 20-011.
- Discussions about post-vaccination guidelines need to be urgent, and these guidelines should not penalize vaccinated residents on behalf of other residents and staff who oppose the vaccine. Those residents and long-term care workers who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine are at risk, as are those who oppose a flu or pneumonia vaccine. Although the diseases and their effects are different, the premise should be the same: the rights of those who accept the vaccine are not restricted by the existence of those who reject it.
- New guidelines for post-vaccination visits need to be issued in clear, direct and enforceable language so that caregivers can train their individual facilities. In the absence of clear guidelines, the institutions set their own rules, which almost always fall short of the applicable guidelines. We need to be able to educate them and punish them for failing to do so.
- No amended or future long-term care visit policy will take effect without a public comment process involving stakeholders, including the voices of residents and their families. We are the ones who will recognize the shortcomings in public policy at the implementation level.
The physical and psychological destruction of isolation protocols for the long-term care population and those who love them cannot be overstated. However, with the administration of vaccines, we have the opportunity to change what this country is beginning to accept as normal. It’s time to determine what a post-vaccination visit to a COVID-19 world will be like. “