Feeling powerless, families bring elderly home in pandemic

Regional News

Betty Bednarowski, 79, smiles as she bats a balloon back and forth with a nursing assistant at home, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Rotterdam Junction, N.Y. It’s been a year since her family took her out of a nursing home locked down against COVID-19 to rescue her from isolation and neglect. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

ROTTERDAM JUNCTION, N.Y. (AP) — After nursing homes filled up with COVID cases and shut out visitors, some families brought their loved ones home.

Unexpectedly caring for an elderly adult has brought families assurances and peace. It can also bring consequences to finances and relationships that could outlast the pandemic itself.

It’s hard to know just how many families have made that decision during the pandemic. But a software provider that connects hospitals with nursing homes says this year has seen a 14 percent increase in patients discharged to go home.

In a June survey by an industry group, operators of nearly four in ten nursing homes said they were losing money because patients were moving out.

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