Families find alternative ways to visit loved ones in nursing home facilities


CROSSETT, Ark. (03/18/20) — Due to Coronavirus precautions, nursing homes have had to implement visitor restrictions to protect their patients. Though families can’t come inside the facility the restrictions aren’t keeping them away either.

Janis Gilliam has two cousins more like big sisters who are being cared for at the Stonegate Villa Health and Rehabilitation facility. “Hey Betty Boo. How are you doing,” Gilliam said to one of her cousins as they each placed their hands on the glass.

“I get to drive up under the pavilion, call them and ask them to come to the door,” Gilliam said. “I can put my hand on the door and we can exchange our I love you’s and why this is happening.”

Judy Wilkerson also has the same desire to continue see her loved one who is also at Stonegate Villa. Wilkerson’s 98 year-old- mother has been in the facility for about three years. Before then, Wilkerson’s mom lived with her and her husband.

She’s used to seeing her mom everyday and couldn’t bare the thought of not being able to see her during the restrictions. So, she found a way to communicate with her by sending her a message through the window.

Wilkerson’s mom has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She’s also deaf but can read lips like a champ. The physical separation has been hard but she’s thankful she’s at least able to see her mother somehow.

“She’s not two stories up or something like that,” Wilkerson said. “I can still see her and that’s the main thing. Just like she told me as long as I can see you.”

Wilkerson and Gilliam are both thankful that the nurses and other employees at the facility have been so caring and helpful during this transition.

“I love the fact that the administrators are making sure that everything is top notch to make sure they don’t get sick,” Gilliam said. “They call us. They make sure we have connections with them.”

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