Woman turns to Family Service League for help getting COVID-19 information from assisted living facility

A special Suffolk program from the Family Service League is helping families with loved ones in nursing homes.
Joanne Piotrowski-Wik is used to visiting her 87-year-old mother Joan every day in the assisted living facility where she stays -- but she cannot now due to the ongoing pandemic.
While she says she has no complaints about the care her mother is getting, she isn't happy about what she calls a lack of communication from the facility's administration about the number of people who are sick or who have died from COVID-19.
Piotrowski-Wik turned to the Family Service League for help. The agency is part of a state-run program that's been around for about 30 years.
An advocate can intervene on the family or resident's behalf, and because it's a state program, no specific privacy forms, like HIPAA, are required.
"We're not doing anything different than the families are, but I think the difference between us and a family member is that we are a state-mandated program, and the facilities are aware of us and our role," says Robyn Berger-Gaston, with the FSL. "So they may be more likely to answer our call than a family member call when they're so pressed for time."
Piotrowski-Wik says she was able to get some information about what's going on where her mom lives, but she says it's still not enough to decide whether to keep her there or bring her home.
Piotrowski-Wik says to take advantage of the FSL if you're having an issue with a facility.
People having difficulty getting information can call:
Nassau - 516-466-9718
Suffolk - 631-470-6755