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At age 42, James Reilly has lived in a nursing facility for seven years because of a worsening seizure disorder that struck when he was born. Betsy and Tom Reilly have been by their son’s side each day, gently exercising his limbs, monitoring his oxygen, and being James’ “extra set of eyes” since he cannot speak for himself.

A visitation ban abruptly begun in mid-March due to COVID-19 has left this couple shut out for seven months and sleepless with worry.

These latest troubles are merely symptomatic of a broader constellation of nursing home issues that predate the pandemic.

COVID-19 pulled back the curtain on longstanding cracks in the entire long-term care system, exposing deep flaws in the way we care for our country’s most vulnerable people.

Read the Health Affairs article here: COVID-19’s Deadly Lesson: Time To Revamp Long-Term Care


Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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