East Texas group spreads awareness of the dangers of isolation in nursing homes

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KILGORE, Texas (KETK) – Imagine being isolated and having to come to terms with possibly dying alone. This the reality for many older East Texans living in long-term care facilities.

More than 300 signs are planted in Chasity Dillard’s front lawn. All share a serious message: “Isolation kills.” The Texas Caregivers for Compromise is a Facebook organization that wants Governor Abbott to lift his restrictions on nursing home visitation.

Back in March, he shut down visiting to help protect older people during the pandemic. The group recently sent an “essential caregiver plan” to the governor’s office, asking that one family member be allowed inside. A person who wears the correct gear and is tested for COVID-19 before entering the building.

“Some prisoners have an end date. They know when they’re going to get out, a lot of these people in these facilities know there’s only way they’re going to get out. That’s on a gurney,” says Dillard, Texas Caregivers for Compromise member.

The group has an online petition to lobby for the re-opening of nursing homes. It already has more than 20,000 signatures.

Next week, Dillard will move those 300 signs from her front yard to the intersection of US 79 and US 259 South in Henderson. All to spread awareness throughout the state.

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