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Family members of nursing home residents plea for Gov. Edwards to reconsider Phase 3 guidelines

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 11:11 PM CDT
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MADISON PARISH, La. (KNOE) - With each passing day and month, many people say they’re feeling discouraged about not being able to visit their loved ones in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

Nursing home visitation is still prohibited under Phase 3 and many people are calling for Governor Edwards to re-evaluate the restrictions.

It’s been over six months since Cynthia Arender Machen has seen her husband Maurice. Since then, their lunch dates and live music shows have been replaced with window-side visits and Facetime calls.

“I already missed his 81st birthday in April and I missed our 30th anniversary in August, I visited him through the window for both of those occasions," Arender Machen said.

Her husband has been in a Madison Parish nursing home for at least six years and this is the first time and longest time they haven’t been able to see each other due to the pandemic.

She’s one of several people who’ve reached out to KNOE expressing their concerns and plea for changes.

Elizabeth Hollis' mother is also in a nursing home and has dementia. Hollis said that prior to the pandemic, she would see her mother almost every day and misses the quality time spent with her.

“She knows who I am and she knows her children it’s just that, that daily touch, that daily talking to them and seeing them, and holding their hand," Hollis said.

As of right now, Phase 3 is expected to last until October 9, until then, both women are asking that the Governor create a way for them to safely visit their loved ones.

“I hope to see it lifted so I can get inside and do things like we did before," Hollis said.

Arender Machen said she’s looking forward to the next lunch date and live music show, and until then she’s hopeful that the guidelines create a safe visitation policy.

“I would certainly take every precaution that I could because I wouldn’t dare want to bring anything in there to him or any other resident," Arender Machen said.

According to the Phase 3 guidelines, the Louisiana Department of Health is working on a 14-day pilot program to allow visitation at nursing homes with no new cases for 14 days and the parish must not have a high number of COVID cases.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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