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Woman decides to move 82-year-old mother out of nursing home due to visitation restrictions

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    WOOD RIVER, IL (KMOV) — Before the pandemic, Barb Kruse said she could visit her mother in person at a nursing home and enjoy fun activities with her.

“We’d play solitaire, we would do very simple puzzles, sing songs, take her dancing,” she said.

Kruse said her 82-year old mother, Marbelene Froman, has Alzheimer’s Disease. She said her mother benefited mentally and emotionally from the face-to-face meetings but has declined rapidly after the pandemic limited visits to talking through a closed window at Integrity Healthcare of Wood River.

The Illinois Department of Public Health allows outdoor visits in person at long-term care facilities if social distancing is allowed. Kruse said she asked for outdoor, in person visits and was repeatedly denied. She said the situation came to a head in a phone call with the facility director.

“I said I want my mom to be able to come outside, she’s declining. And she said fine, move your mom out,” said Kruse.

Integrity Healthcare released a statement:

“With the rise of coronavirus cases nationwide and locally here in Madison County, Integrity Healthcare of Wood River has closely monitored our residents and staff and taken precautionary measures recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We continue to test all of our residents and all of our staff each week.

Today, we can confirm a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The nursing home has followed CDC procedures and has been in contact with the local health department. The individual has been isolated from the other residents and being followed by the local health department. The individual is asymptomatic.

The nursing home has canceled communal activities and dining to protect other residents. In addition to visitor restrictions and employee screening protocols, we are monitoring all residents and staff carefully. Family members with questions about residents are encouraged to call our facility.

We will continue to follow guidelines provided by public health officials and government leaders, communicate updates with residents and families, and take all precautions necessary for our residents, staff and community at large.”

The director of the facility indicated to News 4 on the phone that the health department doesn’t permit in person visits right now because of the elevated number of coronavirus cases in Madison County. But Kruse said a company executive told her she should have been allowed to visit her mother in person.

Kruse told News 4, “Monday, 12-o’clock I show up at the nursing home and they’re supposed to have everything packed up and she walks out of there and into my house.”

But the discovery that an employee tested positive has complicated her plans to move her mother in with her. The nursing home said her mother needs to quarantine for 14 days or if Kruse brings her mother home Monday she’ll need to quarantine for 14 days. She’ll decide on Monday.

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