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Miss. family speaks out on the struggles of isolation in nursing homes

92-year old Mary Beasley has not been able to physically be around her family since March, due to the pandemic.
92-year old Mary Beasley has not been able to physically be around her family since March, due to the pandemic.(WLBT/Renee Brumfield)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 12:23 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Thursday was 92-year-old Mary Beasley’s birthday, but as a coronavirus precaution, her daughter Renee Brumfield and other family members were not allowed inside of the nursing facility where she lives.

“All we get is window visits through the window with the help of a cordless phone and she doesn’t understand why we can’t come in. So, it’s very confusing to them on why she can’t come out there with us. So you have to explain that each time you go,” said Brumfield.

Mrs. Beasley has dementia. Her four children rotate visits to see her daily, but the last four months of the pandemic have been hard on her memory.

“She has always known her children. She’s never forgotten us because one of us has been there every day. So with this new lockdown that has greatly been affected. She can’t hardly call our names anymore,” said Brumfield.

She and her sister Melissa Lewis said their mother is also isolated from the other senior residents in the facility. The residents no longer eat together and have limited group activities.

Brumfield said she understands the danger of the virus but fears the danger of isolation too.

“You’ve got many that are availing to thrive. They’re not eating. Well, they’re losing weight. They’re depressed. They don’t have the normal activities as they typically did or they’re done differently than what they were before because of trying to distance,” said Brumfield.

The family hopes legislators and other leaders can find a way to allow for safe visitation soon using masks and other measures.

“Most every resident that’s in a nursing home is near the end of their life anyway, unfortunately. They’re going to die of something at any time and so I personally would rather it be of COVID and me be able to be with her and not miss out on the last of her days,” said Brumfield.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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