Loosened nursing home restrictions mean North Alabama families can be reunited

On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced loosening some nursing home restrictions.

Posted: Mar 11, 2021 6:01 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2021 7:07 PM

Families with loved ones in nursing homes are getting ready to finally hug them after being cut off for a year.

The federal government has lifted some restrictions on nursing home visits during the coronavirus pandemic. If a nursing home isn't 70% vaccinated and the county it's located in has a positivity rate of 10% or higher, visits for unvaccinated residents will still be limited. If a nursing home meets all the safety requirements, visits can happen like normal.

Doris Creasy's son, Bradley, has special needs and lives at El Reposo Nursing Home in Lauderdale County. She said she can't wait for those regular visits.

"I get tearful thinking about it, that's going to happen, too. To not only get a hug but receive a hug," said Creasy. "I just spoke with the administrator and she was telling me they are trying to make sure they do everything exactly right, and when they get it ironed out, things should get better soon."

Creasy remembers when the pandemic started and nursing homes were shut off. She was shut off from her son.

"We had Facetime and we had porch visits, and that helped, but it was not the same," said Creasy.

Before the pandemic, Creasy said they'd take Bradley out for fun activities and visits with family.

"It was devastating. The weekend before, we had gone to a birthday party, and then, bowling with the Special Olympics on the 7th and had no idea when I took him home, that would be it for a year," said Creasy.

Creasy said the hardest part was not knowing when she'd get to go inside El Reposo and be with her son, but now, with restrictions loosened, she's hopeful this is one step back to normalcy.

"For months and months, there was nothing, no encouraging thing at all, and so now to have that happening soon," said Creasy.

Bradley was vaccinated at the nursing home. Creasy is hopeful she will be able to get her vaccine soon.

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