Year after COVID shutdown, Baton Rouge family finally embraces inside nursing home
BATON ROUGE – It's an embrace a year in the making. With nursing homes able to loosen visitation restrictions, one family was able to hug their 82-year-old mom for the first time since the pandemic hit.
“Mom you look so great. You look so good,” said Kathy Martin, embracing her mom Irene. “I’ve been waiting for this. I got off early [Thursday] to come and see my mother.”
Kathy, along with her brother Danny and sister Marilyn, raced to set up an appointment at Capital Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center the moment they heard indoor visitation was allowed.
“You want to be able to get that touching and hugging and love in that they need,” Kathy said.
A majority of the residents had to get vaccinated in order to get to this next step.
“It was a lot of work,” licensed administrator Todd Ford said. “We did a lot of infectious control, PPE protocols, checking temps every single day with every single person who came into this building. The hardest thing about the last year is seeing the residents go day-to-day without seeing their loved ones.”
Before indoor visitations came back, families had to meet out in the front of the building with a plexiglass wall separating them from their loved one.
"I'm glad that [my mom] lived through all of this and was able to still be here, because a lot weren't able to still be here to see this,” Kathy said.
Knowing how tough this past year has been, the Martins are grateful they can now be together again, hand-in-hand. The siblings know their mom needs the reunion just as much as they do.
“When she hears my voice she is happy, but to know that we are here makes her feel much much better. To give her that hug, to give her that touch, to give her that kiss and to show that love makes a difference,” Kathy said.
Two visitors are allowed inside Capital Oaks at a time and can stay and visit for 30 to 45 minutes.
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