Coronavirus Pandemic: Families Wrestle With Care Decisions As Coronavirus Strikes Nursing Homes
Nearly 1 in 10 nursing homes across America have reported Coronavirus outbreaks, according to a report by the Washington Post. And once someone recovers from the virus, it's still an agonizing ordeal for families.
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Nearly 1 in 10 nursing homes across America have reported Coronavirus outbreaks, according to a report by the Washington Post. And once someone recovers from the virus, it’s still an agonizing ordeal for families.
Freska Griarte, a KOIT Radio personality, told KPIX5 in early March that her 84 year old mother – an Alzheimer’s patient – was healthy. But that has changed. She recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred from her skilled nursing facility – St. Francis Heights – to Kaiser Hospital in South San Francisco.
The good news is she is now recovering and should be released very soon. But her family still doesn’t know exactly what happens next.
“It’s very frustrating,” Griarte said. “When my sister and I talk, we’re like, ‘Where’s mom going to go?’”
Griarte said she has been contacted by county officials, but was told they simply have not made a decision where her mother will be transferred. It likely will not be back to her previous nursing facility.
It’s uncharted territory for everybody.
San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy told KPIX5 he couldn’t speak to Griarte’s case specifically, but there are several options for patients who test COVID-19 positive.
They may go to a hotel with 24-hour medical staff. Or they could be sent to the newly reopened Seton Medical center which is also designated for covid patients. Or even a nursing facility with a COVID-19 wing.
“They will be quarantined until they test negative twice,” Callagy added.
While she waits for a decision, Freska has written a touching letter to the future healthcare workers, telling them about her mother, who immigrated from the Philippines and was a social worker in San Mateo County for more than two decades.
“To all of our mother’s amazing health care team, you are all truly angels on earth,” the letter reads.
“I said here’s a photo of my Mom so they can see her beautiful smile that they don’t see because she’s not able to smile or speak. And also that we as a family appreciate what they’re doing,” Griarte said.
She also gave them a radio, so her mother can hear her daughter on the afternoon shift at KOIT radio.
A decision from the County should come soon, as Freska’s mother may be released from the hospital as early as Tuesday.