In some nursing homes, 100% of the residents are positive for the coronavirus. That’s by design. These facilities have volunteered to devote part or all of their buildings exclusively to treating COVID-19 patients, who bring in more government money. But to make room for them, the original residents can be forced out of the places they’ve called home.
Ruby Hamilton was one of them. She was in her 90s by the time she needed full-time nursing care. Being an independent woman, she chose the nursing home she wanted: Westpark in Indianapolis. Her daughter, Carolyn Oliver, says Hamilton was happy there for five years.
“We knew the people. We knew the facility. They knew us,” Oliver says. “So we were very comfortable with where she was.”
Then suddenly in March, Oliver received a phone call saying that Westpark would be receiving coronavirus-positive patients and therefore her mother and other residents would be transferred to another nursing facility in the same chain.