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"Giving a voice to those who once cared for us is an honor. It is now our duty to show the world they will never be forgotten".
NEW YORK, NY, August 20, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Over five million Americans have been infected with the novel coronavirus, accounting for nearly quarter of all global cases. And, with 165,000 deaths and counting, the U.S. leads the world in most reported casualties .
Disproportionately impacted are our nation's Seniors. In a recent ABC News state-by-state analysis, at least 63,000 of those deaths have occurred in nursing homes.
The pandemic has shown a spotlight on what is an already broken system that's failed "The Greatest Generation." The heroes who sacrificed on the beaches of Normandy, the volcanic terrain of Iwo Jima, and the mountain passes of the Chosin Reservoir. Our parents and grandparents who come from all walks of life, all races and creeds, and who laid the foundations of the ideals we still cherish today.
Voices For Seniors is an advocacy organization seeking answers, demanding justice, and fighting for accountability and change.
Family Tragedy Fuels a Nationwide Mission
Voices For Seniors was created, not inside a Manhattan boardroom or Washington think tank, but in the aftermath of one family's devastating loss.
For Vivian Rivera Zayas and Alexa Rivera, their journey began the day their beloved mother Ana Martinez passed away in April at a nursing home on Long Island, New York.
Ana's death was sudden and unexpected. Or so, Vivian and Alexa were led to believe.
Complications from knee surgery requiring less than two months of recovery should've meant it wouldn't be long before Ana was home again with family and friends doing the things she loved, like cooking and spending time at her local community center.
Then came COVID-19. As New York enforced shutdowns across the state, the confinement and isolation began to take its toll on Ana emotionally.
After repeated pleas and demands from her family, Ana was finally scheduled to be released into their care on March 30th, 2020.
But, instead of looking forward to her homecoming, her daughters were blindsided with the shocking news that Ana died. News that came less than two days after they were assured everything was "fine." That Ana was "fine."
Unbeknownst to them, Ana contracted COVID-19, yet her nursing home never disclosed that information to her family until it was too late.
Weeks of stonewalling, confusion, and indifference. All the while, Ana was alone, afraid, and rapidly deteriorating.
It didn't have to be this way.
Their mother's death which, with transparency and better oversight, could have been preventable has fueled Vivian and Alexa's mission to ensure no family has to endure that same senseless pain and loss again.
Statistics Cloaked in Secrecy
New York's true number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes has been the subject of much scrutiny and debate. Already among the highest in the nation, those statistics may actually be significantly greater. According to an investigation by The Associated Press, New York only includes residents who've died on physical nursing home property.
Victims, like Ana Martinez, who were transported to a hospital and subsequently died there, are not included in those same statistics of coronavirus nursing home deaths.
So far, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to investigate these claims, driving speculation the state is manipulating figures to create the illusion that the virus' impact on Seniors in assisted living facilities is less dire than reality.
United by the struggle to push for sweeping reforms in our nation's nursing homes, Voices For Seniors chooses families over partisan politics, the precious lives of loved ones over poll numbers.
Lives That Could've Been Saved — Families Forever Changed
Out of the ashes of anger and heartbreak, Vivian and Alexa have galvanized families across the U.S. to channel their pain toward a greater cause.
Today, there are tens of thousands of vulnerable Seniors, living in inadequate facilities and cruelly separated from their loved ones.
Voice For Seniors is a movement bringing families together in a time of loss and calling on our nation's leaders to fix a flawed and broken system.
Because, giving a voice to those who once cared for us is an honor. It is now our duty to show the world they will never be forgotten.
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