Commentary: Address current and systemic challenges at nursing homes

Originally published in Times Union on May 18, 2020.

The headlines are searing and often surreal: Nearly 5,000 nursing home residents dead statewide and still counting. Bodies found stacked up at a funeral home. A nursing home rebuffs a family's plea to test their loved one as he struggles to breathe. Families desperate for answers from short-staffed, overwhelmed nursing home administrators.

May is Older Americans Month. In light of the viral scourge among us, I hope that in addition to marking the occasion with well-deserved words of gratitude for older New Yorkers and their contributions, we also look long and hard at how we support our elders and those who care for them. I hope we scrutinize exactly what led to our nursing homes becoming hot spots for this pandemic.