Under near constant video surveillance, she'll only talk on her cell phone when she's sure no one can overhear. She eats her meals alone and spends most of her time in her room. She feels like she's in prison, not a nursing home.
"In the beginning, all of the measures were supposed to be to help seniors," said the woman, whom we'll call Lucy. "And yet, we were basically locked away and they threw away the key. It's like we don't even exist."
It has been more than five months since nursing homes locked down to try to protect their highly-vulnerable patients. But even with strict rules in place, more than 2,000 of L.A. County's nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 since March.
Most of the county's nursing homes have yet to reopen to visitors. Those new rules meant to keep out infection have also kept residents confined and isolated from their families and friends.
Read more on LAist.
Donna Benton, research associate professor of gerontology at USC; she’s also the director of the Family Caregiver Support Center (FCSC) and the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center (LACRC) at USC; she tweets @donnabentonphd