Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Effects of Abandoned Thanksgiving Traditions Worry Long-term Care Worker

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I work at a long-term care facility in a state that currently allows window and outdoor visits only. My center stated weeks ago that there will be no big Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends this year, and the administration has told families that if they take their loved ones home for the day, they may be subject to a two-week in-room quarantine when they return.

I get the need to take precautions, but I find it only gets harder to explain to our residents why they can’t be with their loved ones the way they always could be before. Most of the people in our facility are in their 80s and 90s, and I see how hard it is on them to be living even more separated from the outside world and the people they love. Many of them have obviously declined more than they probably would have if things were more normal.

I already volunteered to work on Thanksgiving Day. I know how hard it’s going to be for a lot of people and I just wanted to ask you to let people know that as hard as it is for those on the outside who don’t get to see their loved ones in person, it’s even harder on the people who live in nursing homes and assisted living apartment buildings.

Please urge people to remember those who are not able to be with those they love, especially during this difficult year’s holidays. --- PLEASE DON’T FORGET

DEAR PLEASE DON’T FORGET: As a family member of someone in an assisted living community, I appreciate your efforts to remind us all about how the pandemic particularly affects an already vulnerable part of our population and the people who love them.

Thank you and all those who care for and about patients and residents in healthcare centers everywhere.

Stay safe and well.

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