Does state government care about older Iowans? It doesn't appear so.
In April, news media reported that 100 residents and staff in a Cedar Rapids nursing home tested positive for COVID-19. Seventeen residents died.
Last week, news media reported that 51 residents and staff in a Dubuque nursing home tested positive for COVID and 11 residents died.
And today, it was reported that 79 residents and staff members in an Oskaloosa nursing home tested positive for COVID and 15 residents died.
In each case, the reports cited a failure on the part of the facilities to have proper infection prevention and control procedures in place.
Iowa’s response? Grant immunity to facilities where injuries or deaths occurred.
Facility accountability – none.
Resident and family rights – trampled on.
We need and ask for your help.
Our elected leaders haven’t seen the light, so it’s time for them to feel some heat.
We ask you to think of the illnesses, injuries and deaths as if they happened –not to strangers –but to your friends and family.
We ask you to care.
And care enough to pick up the phone and call the Iowa Governor’s office at 515.281.5211.
It’s not complicated – you can leave your message without talking to anyone, or you can speak to a staff member if desired.
Your request should be something like– State government needs to immediately make nursing homes a priority, and begin listening to front line staff, residents and those who advocate for them about how safety and care can be improved.
If you’re upset by what’s going on, express it. If you have a personal story to share, share it. The Governor’s office needs to hear how personal and objectionable this is to Iowans.
That’s it. You will have done something important -- you will have kept the drum beating.
And one more thing, if you will, please forward this message on to others and encourage them to make the call – and to forward the message to those they know.
This won’t be effective if just a few soldiers call. We need the whole army to call.
On behalf of older Iowans in nursing homes now, or those of us who may be there someday – thank you!