x

WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Emotional toll of COVID-19 hard to measure inside Ohio’s long-term care facilities

The state has yet to publicly release guidance on if or when visitations could resume at long-term care facilities.

COLUMBUS (WBNS) – Jamie Stabl says his 93-year old father-in-law normally spends Memorial Day with family.

But this year is far from normal.

His father-in-law, Dan Radanovic, is a Korean War veteran – and like countless other veterans this holiday – is likely spending it in relative isolation – away from their family members and friends.

“He’s doing the same over the last 10 weeks. My wife and I see him outside his window and talk to him. But I said to her last week, his eyes and everything and his emotion, they are starting to look tired,” Stabl said.

Stabl says his father-in-law is allowed to enjoy some time at the Inn at Bear Trail’s courtyard, an assisted living center in Delaware County. But Stabl says he worries how much of an emotional toll the pandemic is having on his father-in-law’s health.

And it’s not something that is easily measured.

The Ohio Department of Health reported last week that more than 1,200 people have died from COVID-19 inside Ohio’s long-term care facilities. The latest figures show that between April 15 and May 20, there have been more than 6,700 cases.

“The nursing homes and long-term care facilities are just getting hammered. And it doesn’t seem to be letting up,” Stabl said. “Lucky for him where he is at they haven’t had a case for about three weeks now. I don’t know how you keep that out week after week after week…it’s going to be difficult."

Stabl says he remains hopeful that one day – one day soon – they may get to visit again in person. Further complicating that plan is a concern, Stabl says, about asymptomatic folks infecting his father or his father potentially infecting others – if he were to be asymptomatic.

“We definitely want him to have that face-to-face. We know we won’t be able to touch but just the face-to-face would brighten up his mood quite a bit," he said.

The state has yet to publicly release guidance on if or when visitations could resume at long-term care facilities. The data from the Ohio Department of Health is expected to be updated on Wednesday.