Visiting loved ones in long term care facilities is in the near future

Local News

SEARCY, Ark.- If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may be able to visit them as early as July 1.

Today, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced their guidelines to allow visitation at long term care facilities.

“I would like so much to be with her,” said Debbie Duke, Visiting Mom.

In early March nursing homes were locked down as COVID-19 entered the natural state.

“It was terrible because mom was quite ill, she had blood clots and I didn’t know if I would ever see her again,” said Duke.

Pre-pandemic Debbie Duke would visit her 98-year-old mom Louise every day at the Crossing at Riverside in Searcy.

After several weeks of lockdown Duke and her family got creative. They Facetimed, spent time at the window and now they are meeting outside.

“We go to the back fence and talk over the fence and that has been great,” said Duke.

March 13 was the last time Duke was able to give her mom a hug, but she says meeting at the fence is much better than talking on the phone.

“I hardly ever leave here without getting tears in my eyes,” said Duke.

Now with the recent announcement from Governor Huthcinson, saying people may be able to start visiting long term care facilities, Duke might be able to see her mom on the same side of the fence.

Something Kelly Adcock, Director of Community Relations said makes a huge difference in the resident’s day.

“It’s something they look forward to everyday,” said Kelly Adcock, Director of Community Relations.

To be ready for visitors Governor Hutchinson said everyone in the building will need to test negative for COVID, visits must be scheduled in advance, a minimum of two visitors per resident is allowed in with a mask and outdoor visits are preferred but indoor visits will be allowed.

“I’m so thankful there’s going to be a way, I know there will be a lot of rules but there will be a way for people to get together,” said Duke.

The Governor said not all facilities will be ready by July 1, but that is the goal.

For now, Duke said they will continue meeting at the fence.

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