ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County is now in the yellow phase after the state updated its statewide COVID-19 map. People are now able to visit family members in nursing homes. A local family says they’re frustrated that so many other things were allowed to open with safety measures in place. Making sure the family’s loved one was taken care of properly has been difficult since they haven’t been allowed to visit in-person.
Anthony Baca’s family says they’ve been limited to window visits at his Albuquerque rehabilitation facility. “All of a sudden he was home one day and then he was gone the next. Emotionally, it’s difficult for him,” says his wife Ermelinda Baca.
Baca’s wife and daughter say he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 14 years ago. “Just a couple of weeks ago he was unable to walk. He already had trouble walking before but he just physically couldn’t even get up,” says daughter, Sidney Baca.
After a week in the hospital, the 69-year-old learned he would need long-term physical therapy care. Anthony was admitted into the Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites where up to this point, visitors haven’t been allowed inside. “Not being able to go in there we don’t know if the weakness is from the Parkinson’s or is he not getting the right combination of meds, plus the pain pump, all those factor into his care and not being able to voice that for him has been very difficult,” Sidney said.
With the county turning yellow, the facility should be changing its visitation policy by Thursday, allowing one visitor at a time. For the family, one will be good enough for now. “At least my mom, someone who has someone who has been his voice since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s so it’s really, she’s his voice she’s been unable to speak on his behalf,” Sidney says.
Baca’s wife says she was allowed in briefly Wednesday afternoon to help show staff how to properly work a device connected to his brain that was turned off accidentally.
For counties in the yellow, only one visitor is allowed at a time. Social distancing and temperature screening are required – and visits are limited to one hour. For counties in the red level, visits are only allowed when a patient is in physical or emotional distress.