Man frustrated with Covid restrictions at long term care facility

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — “It’s frustrating. My wife she just sounds worse and worse everyday and it’s devastating,” Bill Hand, Urbana resident, said.

He says it needs to end. He says he’s barely allowed to see his wife in her long term care facility, even though the state has opened up.

The state is opening up from pandemic restrictions and most long term care facilities are allowing visitors, buy an Urbana man says he’s still barely able to see his wife in her long term care facility.

University Rehab Center in Urbana says they have been in “outbreak” status and normal visitations should start soon. Hand is desperate for that to happen because he says restrictions have gone on too long.

It’s been a devastating year for Bill Hand and his family. He says he’s hardly been able to visit his wife at her Urbana nursing home.

“My wife is struggling. I talked to her on the phone. She’s getting more and more depressed. I told them its not going to be the residents dying of Covid, they’re going to die of depression,” Hand said.

Hand’s wife is a resident at the University Rehabilitation Center. She had a massive stroke six years ago.

“We used to go visit her every night for 2-3 hours every night up until this Covid hit,” Hand said.

Since Covid hit, everything has been different.

“Basically since the last 17 months I’ve been in there maybe 30 minutes total,” Hand said.

It hasn’t just been hard on him and his wife, its also been hard on their daughter who has down syndrome.

“I talk to my wife everyday on the phone, but she does not comprehend what’s going on. She doesn’t understand. She just wants to go home, wants to go home, wants to go out, wants us to be there. She wants to hug her daughter and we’re fighting that right and left. Its just been a battle,” Hand said.

Hand and his wife have both been vaccinated. He says the center is only allowing one visit a week with two people for twenty minutes. Sometimes he goes weeks without seeing his wife if their parents or friends want to visit.

“Its not just my family. All the residents over there’s got families that want to see their kids or relatives,” Hand said.

University Rehab says they’re following all federal, state and county guidelines. They say they’ve had more restricted policies since an outbreak started in April. The outbreak status was lifted on Friday so they hope to return to normal visitation this week.

At the end of the day, Hand says it’s all about reuniting families with their loved ones.

“They need a hug. They need loving. They need to be with people,” Hand said.

Here is the full statement from University Rehab Center:

“University Rehab is following all Federal, State, and County guidelines related to visitation. The facility has been in “outbreak” status since early April, necessitating a more restrictive and controlled visitation policy to protect the residents and staff. The “outbreak” status was just lifted 6/18/21 and we anticipate resuming normal visitation this week, which we anticipate communicating to our residents and their loved ones shortly. We look forward to welcoming visitors and loved ones as soon as we are safely able.”

Here is a link to the IDPH website regarding long-term care facilities:

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/long-term-care-guidance

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