Coronavirus: Family desperate to visit dying 90-year-old woman at nursing home

FRESNO, Calif. -- As California nursing homes work to protect residents during the coronavirus pandemic, many families say the 'shelter in place' order is taking a toll on loved ones who crave attention from visitors.

One family is desperate to reunite with their mother now in hospice care.

Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities are restricting family members from visiting their loved ones.

It's a dramatic step to help protect a population most vulnerable to infection, but at the same time the move is taking a heavy toll on many families.

"My mother is on her last 30 days and she needs comfort and she needs to know her family loves her and we're not able to do that," says Frances Schreiner.

Schreiner's heart is breaking. She said the staff at Atria Senior Living in Fresno, California, will not allow her to visit her 90-year-old mother Nita, despite being told by doctors her mother only has a month to live.

"They have locked down the entire facility. In other words, none of the residents can go outside their rooms, and nobody can visit."

According to her, Atria will only allow a limited amount of family visitors to say their final goodbyes once her mother's health shows symptoms of decline.

But in the meantime, Frances says her mother is overcome with anxiety because she doesn't understand why no one is able to visit her.

"She just keeps asking - 'Why can't they let you come?' She knows it when you say it to her but she doesn't hold on to it," says Schreiner.

Atria Senior Living responded to Action News, saying:

"The health and well-being of our residents and employees is our first priority. As of March 15, family visitation was limited to end-of-life situations."

Despite being told her mother has 30 days to live, doctors have not told Schreiner that she is in an 'end of life' situation.
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