JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The pandemic is changing the way families are celebrating the holidays this year, especially those in nursing homes.
With visitation restrictions in place at some nursing homes and long-term care facilities, many families will spend the holidays without their loved ones, including Elena Clarke of Wayne County.
Clarke’s brother-in-law, Howard, is in a nursing home in Oxford. He’s the twin brother of her husband, Harold.
Clarke said they haven’t been able to see Howard since January due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the holidays now here, Clarke said depression is starting to set in for her husband knowing he can’t see his twin brother.
Both men have Alzheimer’s, and Clarke said her brother-in-law’s condition is continuing to progress.
That’s why she’s making a passionate plea for visitation polices to be lifted or amended at nursing homes allowing family members to spend time and celebrate with each other.
“We don’t have that peace of mind to be able to see our loved ones and know that everything is OK,” said Clarke. “I mean, it angers me because it’s not fair because that’s our loved one that’s in the nursing homes.
The residents are getting COVID but they’re not getting it from family members, they’re getting it from the staff. So why can’t family members mask up and be able to go see and be there with our family members?”
Clarke said she’s going to remain hopeful that things will slow down and she will be able to visit her brother-in-law on his birthday in January. She says January 9th will mark one year since they last saw him.