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Colorado Springs woman wants restrictions lifted at nursing homes

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 21:01:39-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Restrictions may be lifting at many places across Colorado, but not at nursing homes.

Those with loved ones at these facilities say not being able to see them is doing more harm than good.

Pam Greenway, who lives in Colorado Springs, reached out to KOAA about how these these restrictions have impacted her and her mother, 86-year-old Euphemia. Aside from being with her mom when she had a stroke last week, Greenway says she hasn't been able to sit in the same room with her for the last three months.

We met up with Greenway at her mom's facility on Wednesday.

Greenway greeted her mom and said, "I like your lipstick. You look good...are you a hot momma? I know it."

It's the kind of banter that Greenway shares with her mom several times a week, but these days their conversations are happening via phone and through a window at the facility.

Greenway said, "I sure miss seeing you. I miss you in-person."

Due to the restrictions Greenway said, "I have noticed a significant decline in not just her cognition, but physically."

She shared that her mom has dementia and that it's gotten worse.

"Like I said in the beginning - I think we were all on board for protecting everyone...I think at this point in the game we're no longer protecting them. It's becoming harmful so where does quality of life come into play?"

She believes based on the number of COVID-19 deaths in El Paso County, how things have improved, and the regulations for nursing home employees that it's time for families to be allowed inside again.

"I think a mask and just a temperature check has worked for the facilities. I think that should work for families too."

She says she's reached out to Governor Polis on this issue but hasn't received a reply.

Polis' latest update on visitations is that if there's a critical situation "you can receive a visitation, but there needs to be a more normal way if we're going to be in this situation for a period of months."

Which is why he says plans are in the works to increase availability overtime at nursing homes.

He said, "What it will allow the Lifeline Pass program is it will allow people who test negative, who have no symptoms, and no known exposure to have a window after they get tested negative to be able to visit their loved one in a one-on-one way."

But until that happens Greenway will continue to sit in front of the window, love her mom from a distance, and fight for the day when no barrier will be between them.

Greenway said, "Seeing them I think is really that she can have the best quality of life at these end years, however long she has left, and I want to be with her as many days as I can."