The effects of extended confinement in nursing homes


HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Confined to their rooms for weeks on end and denied visits guaranteed by law. That’s what happened to veterans and their spouses who live at the Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota Veterans Home in Hot Springs.

Family members and a former worker are speaking out, saying that as staff member after staff member tested positive for COVID-19, the residents paid too high of a price.

During an inspection of the home, state health officials found that management wasn’t following the rules when it came to compassionate care visits.

“So then we got down to nothing, zero–no contact whatsoever. Somewhere in the middle there, they changed her to compassionate care and we were supposed to be able to go see her anytime with that. However, once they went to this shutdown, they didn’t let us see her at all,” said family member Vivian Couch.

Coming up in our KELOLAND News Investigation, “Locked Down and Lonely at the State Veterans Home,” Angela Kennecke shows you the disturbing effect “extended confinement” to their rooms has had on residents. And asks for answers from Department of Veterans Affairs officials.

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