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AARP Kentucky calls for changes to protect nursing homes

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Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:10 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Nursing homes continue to be a hotbed when it comes to the coronavirus in Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear announced Tuesday more than 360 people have died in long-term care facilities since the start of the outbreak. The announcement was made in the same week visitation restrictions on some smaller facilities are loosening. Still, some want to see widespread changes in how the virus is being handled.

AARP Kentucky leaders claim nursing homes are in a crisis and people in Kentucky and Indiana are reaching out to them for help. To address the concerns they've heard, those at the nonpartisan advocacy group, have laid out key areas they want to see improve.

First, they want to ensure facilities are up to par when it comes to providing PPE and testing. The nonprofit said staffing is also an issue at many facilities that needs to be addressed, in addition to making sure ombudsmen have access to sites.

AARP Kentucky highlights that it believes facilities must provide residents with virtual family visits and wants to see rejections of proposals to give broad legal immunity to nursing homes for violations when it comes to the virus.

Requiring transparency of COVID-19 data, including cases, patient transfer rights, and how nursing homes are using federal relief funds is also a change those in Kentucky want to see.

"We want to know about any kind of sicknesses, if there are asymptomatic people or people that have actual symptoms," Charles Williams, an AARP Kentucky Volunteer Executive Council Member, said. "We want to know, and we want the facilities to provide that information to us. So, transparency is absolutely important."

When it comes to Washington, Williams said he wants a clearer message about what states should be doing concerning the virus.

Learn more about the changes AARP wants to see by clicking here.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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