Residents at assisted care facilities struggle with isolation

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Isolation is taking a toll on those who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. One local man feels the experience head-on.

Emanuel Agarosa, 89, lives at the Judson Meadows in Schenectady. Emanuel says he has nothing against the assisted living facility, but he feels isolated, and he knows he’s not alone. “No one can tell us what the next week or two weeks are going to bring us,” says Emanuel.

Emanuel, who also goes by “Manny,” received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. He says the majority of the residents at Judson Meadows already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

With shots in the arms, Manny believes it should be easier to see his loved ones. “We [need] to have more human contact with our loved ones. We can’t just go on like this forever,” says Manny.

Because of the pandemic, it now takes months for Manny to get a haircut or to get his nails trimmed at the facility. However, he says that’s not much of his worry. His life revolves around his six children. One of his daughters, Anne Rockwood, says not being able to see her dad is hard but says the state’s visitation restrictions make it even harder.

“Now when they shutdown it seems to be because a staff member who doesn’t even have contact with the residents tests positive…like a kitchen worker or maintenance person…it doesn’t seem to be a nursing staff,” says Anne.

Under the New York State’s adult care facility visitation guidelines, it states there has to be no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the ACF’s residents or staff the last 14 days and the ACF is not currently conducting or having outbreak testing conducted by the local health department. An outbreak is hereby defined as any new onset ACF resident or staff infection.

NEWS10 reached out to Judson Meadows Saturday afternoon, we were told a staff member recently tested positive for COVID-19. They couldn’t get into the specifics of the case. The facility says visitations are on pause until the 14-day period is up.

“I am not complaining about the staff, I am complaining about the rules that are being required to have us live in,” says Manny. Manny wants someone to be an advocate for him and his friends who live in these adult care facilities, it will help demonstrate to everyone else what life has been like during COVID-19.

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