Families await green light to see loved ones in nursing, adult care homes

WWNY Families await green light to see loved ones in nursing, adult care homes

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - While New York state eases into reopening, people are still unable to see their loved ones living in nursing homes and adult care facilities. We spoke with a mother who hasn't seen her son in months.

If you ask Amy Gladle what three words she would use to describe her son, Robbie, she'd say active, handsome, and loving.

"I'm very, very, lucky," she said.

Amy says Robbie's favorite thing to do is go to their hidden beach, enjoy the waves and have picnics as a family.

But those times have become a distant memory since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Amy is unable to visit her son, who lives in a group home in Fowler operated under the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

"I never thought in my life I would go three months without seeing my son," said Gladle.

She says many of her questions have been left unanswered. She has gone as far as writing to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Sunday, Governor Cuomo discussed the question of visitation at group homes at his daily COVID-19 briefing.

"The Department of Health is doing a study as we speak. They're going through it, they're talking to nursing home operators, a number of infectious disease doctors, and we're going to have an answer this week," he said.

In a statement to 7 News, the OPWDD says it's "working closely with the New York State Department of Health to develop a process and timeline to safely resume visitations and will announce those guidelines soon."

Gladle says she's taking everything day-by-day, but she dreams of the day she'll sit on the beach with Robbie again.

"I just want to take my son for a ride. I want to take him alongside the river. I want to take him to his favorite little private beach on Lake Ontario. This is the joy right here on his face," said Gladle as she held a photo.

It the joy she says she can’t wait to see in person.

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