This Memorial Day Weekend, New York Caring Majority leaders in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Capital Region will gather to hold socially-distanced vigils at hard-hit nursing homes where thousands of residents have died from COVID-19. Organizers say the purpose of the vigil is to honor and value the lives of the residents, to support workers in the facility and to demand accountability and action from the state. Organizers will lift up their collective demands for New York State to support nursing home workers, transfer residents who so choose to safer settings, step up state regulation of nursing homes and invest in home care.
The Upper West Side vigil will be held on Monday, May 25th at 4pm, at the Riverside Premier Rehabilitation and Healing Center at 150 Riverside Drive (between 87th and 88th Streets).
Candles will be lit to honor each life lost. Organizers with NY Caring Majority will bring signs reading “Nobody is Disposable” and “Residents and Workers: You Are Essential to Us”- and demand an immediate response from the state to this crisis. Family members of individuals in nursing homes will be available for interviews either at the vigil itself OR virtually. Dozens of leaders will also be holding at-home vigils over the weekend.
NY Caring Majority (NYCM) is a coalition of seniors, people with disabilities, family caregivers, and home care workers for affordable long-term care, and for increased pay and supports for home care workers. Caring Majority leaders and family members of nursing home residents will be present or connected remotely to this vigil.
NY State has reported over 5,500 deaths among residents in nursing homes and adult care facilities. “We are here to say no one is disposable, that our state and federal government need to value the lives of residents and workers, of seniors and people with disabilities,” said Julia Solow, an organizer of the vigil. “The rash of nursing home deaths and COVID-19 positive cases in nursing homes and congregate care settings in the state show a mentality that some lives are disposable. Our beloved family members are suffering because of lack of regulation and investment in these facilities, and an overall lack of investment in a robust long-term care infrastructure.”