At nursing homes, some families are finally being reunited

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Families with loved ones in nursing homes or in assisted living have had the physical absence of their loved ones for over a year.

“When I walked in the first time, she looked up and she said, ‘You’re here. You’re finally here,”‘ said Beverly Albright, whose mother is in assisted living in Grand Rapids. “And that meant the whole world to us.”

“I wanted to grab ahold of her and give her a big hug,” said her mother Anona Dixon.

At 93 years old, Dixon has seen a lot in her life, even recalling Pearl Harbor. But nothing has left her feeling quite as lonely as being without her family for more than a year.

“It was hard,” she said. “It was hard. But you have to go according to the rules.”

Phone calls and special distanced events have helped them get by, but those still lack the interaction a family needs.

“Just the everyday physical activities that give you hints on how she’s doing, and you haven’t been able to do that in over a year,” said Albright. “It’s hard to take care of a parent when you can’t see them.”

Coronavirus cases in Michigan have been moving in the wrong direction for several weeks, making it home to the highest case count in the country.

“I’m afraid that what we’ve enjoyed now is going to be taken away from us,” said Albright.

It is a reminder that what we do affects others, and that you never know what you have until it is gone.

“It’s such a simple thing,” Albright said. “But that was taken away from us and when we get it back, we’re going to be very grateful and hopefully never have to go back to that again. We’ll rejoice and have a good time, won’t we?”

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