Nursing home residents, directors excited to allow family visitors again

Nursing home guidelines for Phase 3

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - He’s 70 years old, but a stroke forced Pershing Guillemet out of his home and into the Covenant Nursing Home, and he’s been there since the start of COVID.

“It’s been a while, I don’t know how long it’s been but it’s been a while,” said Guillemet.

He still has facetime calls and talks to his sisters and nieces through the window on his cell phone. But Guillemet says there’s something missing from those visits. He’s anxious to see them in person again.

“They can’t wait to get back here because they haven’t been able to, see me my sister came once and we spoke through a window my two sisters came and spoke through a window. Now, I want them to come in and I want to touch them you know instead of looking out the window,” said Guillemet.

Reporter: How will you react when you can do that?

Guillemet: “Gonna react good.”

The last time the Covenent Nursing Home saw a positive Covid case was back in April, which is why executive director, Margaret Hoffmann says after months of pleading with lawmakers, everyone is elated that visits are going to start back up again. Some of her residents have suffered without family visits.

“For those with dementia, they’re not sure if their families are well, and on a couple of occasions they cannot comprehend why their loved ones would not be here unless something tragically horrible happened to them so that has brought on a depression and a sadness that’s very difficult to conquer,” said Hoffmann.

They’ve been preparing for these visits for months, though Hoffmann says policies will vary from home to home, especially as some are still providing care for Covid positive cases. But hugs may be limited depending on residents' risk factors.

“We’re going to have to remember the touching with masks gloves and gowns, they should be safe to touch them, but hugging and being close probably won’t happen with the higher risk residence,” she said.

“This is not only exciting it’s a tearful moment for us to see the love is going to be back inside these walls again I’m very excited.”

Already giddy for a visit, Guillemet says once they open the doors though, nothing will keep him from his family.

“Even though they’ll be wearing masks the whole get up the 9 yards? Yeah… maybe we can hide some of this ugly face,” said Guillemet.

Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.

Click Here to report a typo.