Assisted living facility reopen doors for visitors

JACKSON, Tenn. — A long-term care and assisted living facility reopened its doors to visitors after no positive COVID-19 cases for 14 days.

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After many FaceTime calls and conversations through the windows, families and friends are finally able to see their loved ones face-to-face.

“I mean, if it were your loved one you would want to be here and be sharing those special occasions, so it’s great to make that possible for them,” said Alexandria Place Administrator Jennifer Brewer.

Struck hard by the pandemic, assisted living facilities shut their doors to help slow the spread of the virus.

One of those facilities, Alexandria Place, has implemented safety regulations and guidelines to keep their residents COVID-19 free, enabling them to open back up to loved ones.

“Visitation is just one of their resident rights. It’s something we would all want for ourselves and our family, so we want to do that and be safe at the same time. So if we can accomplish both, we’re going to keep that going,” Brewer said.

The assisted living facility requires all staff, residents and visitors to wear a mask, continue sanitizing and pass a wellness check.

“It’s a huge thing on sanitation. We take a lot of measures to ensure our sanitation is done properly, to just stay vigilant and make sure that we’re COVID free,” Brewer said.

“So now that they know they can have the indoor visits, the morale is so much better. Everybody is smiling, everybody is just excited,” said Director of Nursing Lynn Yarbrough.

Resident Bruce Carden was greeted by his family for a visit. Although they practiced social distancing at six feet, his sister Jamie Boone says it makes all the difference.

“It would be wonderful to be able to hug and all that kind of stuff, but it’s wonderful just to be in the same room and actually put your eyes on them,” Boone said. “And even though you can’t see the smile, you can tell he’s smiling through his eyes.”

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Boone says her family has visited through windows and over FaceTime, but it is nice to come visit and help him connect with the outside world.

“Their bodies are more vulnerable, so I think just taking precautions, washing your hands more than usual, using hand sanitizer, wearing your mask out there will continue to allow us to have the visits,” Lynn said.

Visits are limited per day and per resident. Appointments are required in order to maintain guidelines.

The staff emphasized they will continue taking steps to protect the most vulnerable citizens.

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