Long term care facilities work to keep spirits up despite COVID-19 restrictions

Long term care facilities work to keep spirits up despite COVID-19 restrictions

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The number of long term care facility outbreaks has been above 200 since December 5.

Long term care facility staffers admit it’s been a roller coaster of emotions this year. But they know they’ve been entrusted to care for so many loved ones.

“I love my residents and they are all like my grandparents and I know these two feel the same way,” said Brady Wilson, activities director for The Aspen of Brookhaven.

The Aspen of Brookhaven feels fortunate. They haven’t had a COVID case in months. They diligently work to keep the facility sanitized and as safe as possible while also bringing a sense of normalcy through things like going to see the Christmas lights or helping prepare a meal.

“It’s very important to do as much as we possibly can to keep it as normal as possible given what we’ve all had to deal with,” explained The Aspen’s executive director. “But I think it’s going pretty well so far.”

The last several days, there have been more than 200 COVID outbreaks in long term care facilities in the state. One in its final days of outbreak status is Mississippi Care Center of Morton.

“We’re not allowed any indoor visitations,” described facility administrator Brittney McCurdy. “We’re only allowed outdoor visitations during an outbreak status unless it’s for compassionate care.”

Still, they continue to find opportunities for joy.

“We are really just pushing in our activities department to make this feel like home for the holidays,” added McCurdy. “This is their home. This is where they live and we are here to provide fun, comfort and a family atmosphere for them.”

And the next step in caring for residents will be the vaccine.

“We haven’t heard specific timelines yet,” explained Pegasus Senior Living VP of Operations. “We’ve heard it could be as early as next week that assisted livings have access. We’re kind of waiting on pins and needles and trying to be as proactive as we can.”

Pegasus manages two communities in Mississippi: Ridgeland Place in Ridgeland and Castlewoods Place in Brandon. The communities will be partnering with Omnicare-CVS to schedule clinics and will be prepared to administer the vaccine to its residents once distribution dates are available.

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