Loved ones worried that isolation in nursing homes could cause depression

Loved ones worried that isolation in nursing homes could cause depression

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Visitation restrictions at local nursing homes that are designed to protect seniors from COVID-19 could actually be impacting their health.

Terry Allen told us that his late mother was in a nursing home at the start of the pandemic and he was forced to stay away from her for nearly three months.

“It was horrible and had I not been able to see her and she died during that period of time...I can’t even wrap my head around that,” he said.

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Advocates for seniors believe mass isolation during the pandemic is taking a toll and Allen agrees.

“If people don’t have emotional support, it’s just like not getting medicine,” he said.

North Carolina health officials sent Channel 9 the following statement:

“We understand it is difficult to not be able to see and embrace family members and friends during this time, but these measures are in place to protect residents from severe illness and death.”

>>In the video at the top of the page, Channel 9′s Tina Terry explains the impact visitor restrictions are having inside nursing homes and the emotional pleas from loved ones on the outside.

A ministry called NCBAM has started a Hope Line to help seniors experiencing loneliness. They saw a 900% spike in calls when the pandemic started. The number is 866-578-4673. It’s available daily between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.