Nursing Home Facilities in the Capital City Prepare to Reopen
BATON ROUGE - From its earliest days the pandemic has stood like a barricade.
It's blocked Barbara Smith's ability to embrace her mother.
"It's been emotional to not be able to giver her a hug. We're a hugging family and that's been tough," said Smith.
This March marks one year since the Garden View Assisted Living facility locked down.
COVID-19 halted in-person visitations.
They've since only allowed socially distant visits with loved ones.
"It's been tough, but mother has handled it beautifully. We're really fortunate to be able to visit through the window," said Smith.
But, change is on the horizon.
Federal health officials are easing visitation guidelines.
Recommendations allow for indoor visitation regardless of the vaccination status of the resident or visitor.
There are some exceptions, however.
A few of them being when a resident has a confirmed case of COVID-19, when a resident is in quarantine, and when unvaccinated residents are living in facilities where less than 70-percent of residents are vaccinated.
"Our residents feel like they've been jailed for a year, but they understand that what we were doing was to keep them safe. The families and residents appreciate that," said Terry Crochet with Garden View Assisted Living.
Crochet says 99% of their residents are vaccinated, and they are excited to soon fully reopen.
"Once we get past March 26th, we're going back to where we were pre-COVID."
Their restored freedoms allow the possibility of hope for more time with loved ones.