With social distancing, families are not able to visit their loved ones in nursing homes, as the older population is considered the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
In hospice care, where patients are facing their darkest moments without physical contact, providers are getting creative.
“In the social distancing, it's really hard to do that level of connection,” said Carla Braveman, the CEO and president of Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York.
With technology, nurses working with hospice across the state are using phones, Facetime, and other video chat apps to get the job done.
“A lot of times the nurses are actually at the front door but not walking into the house. Families don't want us to walk in,” Braveman said. “But they need our help.”
Braveman says they've even rolled out a patient's bed up to a window where a nurse could communicate on the other side. At residences, families are allowed to visit - but with caution.
“Our residence, yes. We have 11 beds. We are allowing families in. We've been very careful. We are screening just as we do with our staff or any place else that we have a footprint,” Sandi Cassese said.
Cassese runs the hospice in Orange and Sullivan counties. She says they're asking visitors all the right questions, especially if they'd been to New York City - which is considered the epicenter of the covid-19 outbreak in the United States.
“In those darkest moments, we've been able to bring people to see their family members so that they're not dying alone,” Cassese said.
Hospice cares for about 35,000 New Yorkers every year for people who have six months or less to live and looking for some comfort during their final days. Braveman says hospice is kind of a forgotten piece of healthcare.
“What I could say to FEMA is don't forget about us. What I'm hearing is that we're at the end of the line,” Cassese said.