As much as I’m going stir-crazy in my house during the quarantine, my mom has it way worse. She’s in an assisted living facility in another state.
Her quarantine experience started with a restriction on all visitors. That part wasn’t too bad. Her activities director kept everyone busy with trivia, bingo and other social activities among the residents.
However, the next phase was much worse. Residents now can’t even interact with each other. My mom is essentially trapped in her room. All meals are brought to her instead of eating in the dining room with the other residents. She misses social interaction.
She does get some one-on-ones with the staff throughout the day, but it’s not the same. Occasionally, she sneaks out of her room and walks down the hall to look out the front door, just to see what’s going on outside. Sometimes, she doesn’t remember why all of this is necessary in the first place. It’s been very difficult for her.
To stay in touch, my kids and I have a weekly FaceTime call with her that is facilitated by a staff member. I also do another weekly Zoom call with my siblings.
I know that these precautions are necessary. Covid-19 has raged through nursing homes and assisted living centers in her city. In fact, we just moved her into her current location in February. Her prior assisted living home currently has dozens of cases and a handful of deaths from Covid-19. The nursing home across the street from her current place has cases. This disease can wipe out an entire wing of a retirement home. It’s no joke.
I usually fly out to see my mom 2-3 times a year with a kid in tow. I saw her just before Christmas, and had plans to see her this summer. My summer trip is on hold. I doubt it will happen. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be the last places to open, for good reason.
So when will I see her again? Maybe fall? Maybe not until next year?
Do you have family members in a nursing home or assisted living facility? How are they handling the isolation?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.