It seems the state budget does not have enough funds to cover more than five or so overnight home visits per year for any nursing home resident. State rules stipulate that nursing homes can't hold beds any longer than that.
What that means is, if people have loved ones they usually bring home to enjoy certain holidays, family functions, or just a change of scenery, those nursing home residents are allowed only five or so overnight stays for the whole year.
My son and I had never been separated since he became disabled at 8 years old. The time came, three years ago, when he and I made the decision that a nursing home would be best for him, as I was getting older. He is now 43, and I have been bringing him home for long weekends once a month.
He is totally wheelchair-bound. His motor skills, speech and swallowing are diminishing rapidly. I look forward to his home visits so much. When he is at home, he laughs more, enjoys my cooking, sleeps with his dog, Zoe, and stays up late watching TV with me.
Anyone who has raised a handicapped child into adulthood knows that the love for that child grows deeper each year and to be separated from that person brings unbearable moments of depression.
I urge state officials to give back the days needed to help these residents keep their family life alive.
Sandra Dumont, Rangeley