Nursing homes and assisted living centers starting to allow limited visitations inside

The state is allowing for more visitations inside nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the pandemic.
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 2:42 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are starting to allow more visitors inside. For months, many people haven’t been able to see friends and family because of COVID-19.

For much of 2020, celebrating with some of our oldest loved ones has looked different. There have been driving vehicle parades and socially distanced birthday parties outside nursing homes and long-term care facilities during COVID-19 to name a few.

KBTX was there in July when Ken Shaub, a World War II Veteran turned 100 and his family celebrated below a balcony to social distance during COVID-19.

“Well until last week we had not been face-to-face with my Dad since March," said Mike Shaub, a College Station resident. He’s now seeing his dad, Ken, face-to-face at the Isle at Watercrest.

“Now they’ve changed it," said Shaub. “We’re able to go in for one hour a week so I was able to get with my dad for one hour last week and then one hour yesterday, where I’ve gotten to see his face.”

“Gov. Abbott has said that now that we can have two essential caregivers for a resident," said Carole Crutchfield Sodalis Senior Living Community Relations Director.

She says they’re allowing a limited number of visitors inside to help meet the needs of residents and their loved ones.

“If they’re not one of the essential care givers and want to visit they can do window visits," said Crutchfield. “We also have what was the Phase 1 visitation policy where it was Plexiglas. They can call and schedule a visit with us and then we will set that up where they can go behind Plexiglas.”

Betty Johnston is glad to be able to see her 89-year-old mother in person inside at Sodalis. They just moved her into assisted living in June after she’d lived with her family.

“We’re still all wearing masks, but at least we’re getting to be in the same room getting to visit and just having more normal interaction has been a lot better as before I’m hoping more is going to open up soon," said Johnston of College Station.

For Mike the changes are bringing his family together.

“It is answered prayer. We’re really grateful that God’s given us this opportunity to hear his voice, see his face, see his emotions. They’ve taken great care of him," said Shaub.

To be an essential caregiver you also have to be trained on the proper use of protective gear and be briefed on infection control measures. Those caregivers also must test negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks.

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