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New COVID-19 cases are declining in U.S. Nursing Homes, bringing hope to residents

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Posted at 5:34 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 06:34:13-05

HARKER HEIGHTS, TX — It’s been nearly a year since the pandemic began in our country and life has changed dramatically for everyone including people in nursing homes who haven’t seen their loved ones.

Finding time to spend with family friends and loved ones has been tough during the last year. Richard Washington, whose father was in a Harker Heights nursing home went months without seeing him face to face.

“He got in to a depression being that I couldn’t visit and stay on top of things like I was before he started getting sicker. He wouldn’t eat,” said Washington.

Washington said the video wasn’t an option and they could not meet through a window because he was bedridden.

Washington said his father took multiple trips to the E.R., developed wounds and caught COVID-19. It seemed like his father was struggling to survive and he couldn’t do anything to help.

“Usually, I would have to call back several times just to get through so that was another frustrating piece. He calls me to get a little testy and start going up there knocking on doors like ‘somebody’s gonna tell me something,’” said Washington.

A recent report by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living says there’s been an 82% dip in new cases among US nursing home residents since December.

With millions of Texans taking the vaccine and the Governor lifting the mask mandate and reopening businesses, some believe widespread in-person visits could be back soon.

Washington said it’s still too soon, “Interaction is important because it gives people hope. The timing right now I don’t think the timing is appropriate.”

As for his father? The U.S. Marine veteran was moved to hospice at the VA hospital in Temple and is back to his old self.

“Right now, he’s doing good he’s talking smack. He’s an old marine, so he’s talk trash and talking about who he wanna flirt with and where he gonna go fishing at,” said Washington.

Washington and his family don’t know how much time they have left with their father, but they’re doing everything they can to make sure that every moment counts.