BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — Upset, hurt and downright tired, a group of caregivers and the families of loved ones in long-term care facilities rallied at the Beaver County Courthouse, demanding the state to take immediate action to reform nursing homes.
“We felt even more helpless,” said Shelby Dille. “The industry has to change. Our people don’t deserve to be treated badly.”
During the pandemic, Channel 11 reported issues in many local nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The facility where Dille worked for 15 years had one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the state.
“The short staffing is what gets us the worst. We can’t do what we need to do with our residents. We just feel like we are failing them,” she said.
“I don’t want my father to have died in vain,” said state Rep. Rob Matzie.
Matzie was also at the rally to show his support for an issue he knows too well.
“For me, it’s personal. I lost my father in January to COVID-19,” he said.
He said during the pandemic, he relied heavily on the caretakers at the facility where his father lived.
“To be here to lend support for staff ratios and increased pay for those that we want to celebrate during a pandemic as heroes on the front lines but forget about when it comes time to change policy in Harrisburg and Washington, well that just doesn’t work,” Matzie said.
Congressman Conor Lamb also said he vows to change policy, taking the state’s nursing home crisis to Washington.