COVID-19 pandemic impacts nursing homes across the U.S.

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on nursing homes across the U.S.

Lockdown came quickly for patients, family, and staff members.

One year later, administrator Brandee Delaney said challenges are operating the facility on a lockdown.

“We all talked about it and decided together it was important that we all watch our exposure and not comprise it. That was one of the main things to help us keep it out,” said Delaney.

Nearly 20 patients live in Garden Hill Assisted Living. It’s all hands on deck as staff make their rounds to make residents feel appreciated.

That’s Chloe Cottage’s motto while checking patient vitals, medicine, or sharing a laugh.

” Some of them, we just the little things that we say to each other every morning or every night. You know what they want, what they’re going to ask from you, and it just makes them feel like you care,” said Cottage.

” Engaging with them and having conversations that made difficult by distance. It’s an adjustment, but one everyone is willing to make for the community here,” said Sydney Delaney.

Activities Director Stacy Mcgraw keeps patients active and upbeat.

” We have great little projects that they can work on in their rooms, also while we are continuing to do activities. We’ll do one activity a day for a
week or two. Everyone is socially-distanced. Everybody sits at a different table,” said McGraw.

Area organizations, churches, and military personnel have also donated Garden Hill Assisted Living for events and music therapy.

And with relaxed visitation restrictions, Delaney says families can see their loved ones more often.

” We go ahead and test anyone before entering or visiting. Families will meet outside, which will probably be better with scheduling,” said Delaney.

“We do still prioritize the resident’s safety, and we maintain our mask mandate,” said Syndey Delaney.

After pushing through a year with the virus, staff members are hopeful they can continue to keep residents safe entering the second year of COVID-19.

” We become their family members, and we are all that they see every single day. It’s important for us to treat them like family,” said McGraw.

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