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Families get creative to celebrate with loved ones during visitation restrictions

1 year 8 months 1 week ago Friday, March 20 2020 Mar 20, 2020 March 20, 2020 10:50 PM March 20, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES- Families with loved ones in assisted living facilities and nursing homes are still finding ways to share special moments, even during a virus pandemic with visitation restrictions.

At Ascension Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center, Cecil Vaughn is recovering from a stroke. For the many months he's been there, family visits have been a constant.

"My mom is here every day and she spends most of the days with him," Cecil's daughter Becky Smith said. "Then his family, his children, myself, my brother, his sisters, his mom, brothers-in-law, other family members are in and out every day, almost every day."

With the global coronavirus outbreak, new visitation restrictions at nursing homes and assisted living facilities have made it difficult for Cecil's family to visit him. Technology has helped keep them in touch.

"We've been seeing him through FaceTime and through the window," Smith said. "That's just the best we can do right now."

Cecil, or 'Poppie,' celebrated his 67th birthday Friday afternoon with his family while managing to follow the strict visitation rules. His loved ones, along with the staff at the nursing home, got creative to celebrate the special day.

Cecil's family gathered around a window and celebrated outside of the glass, wearing party hats and smiles.

"It was no second thought about it," Smith said. "Even though there's a window between us, we had to celebrate his birthday and let him know we love him just as much if he's on this side of the glass or the other."

They decorated the porch of the facility with banners and balloons, even bringing a cake to the party.

"He liked his cake so much he didn't want to share," Smith said. "He didn't want to share his cake, but he had a great day today. It was a great day."

Although no one in Cecil's family could have predicted this was how they would have to celebrate their patriarch, the party proved one thing.

"There's no social distancing that can stop the love of family," Smith said. "Love can go through windows and I believe that."

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