Residents adapting to coronavirus restrictions at Brooks Place

After more than a month of social distancing, closed businesses and limits on almost anything involving other people, few may be as isolated as those living in long-term care or health care facilities.

Visitation, even from families, has been severely restricted other than end-of-life situations. Anything within six feet is not recommended. Phone calls may be a poor substitute for a real, live visit from your loved ones.

Still, facilities are working to provide options for residents to get outside and have contact with relatives.

At Rose Mary C. Brooks Place, Executive Director Tim Janes said the staff does what it can within recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and others.

“Every day, we offer each resident two 30-minute spots to take a walk outside,” Janes said. Some, he said, only take a few minutes, while others take every second to be outside.

Not being able to allow visitors in is tough as well. Many people stay in contact by phone or video services, but it’s not always the same.

If relatives want to visit, Janes said, there is a way for residents to at least see their loved ones.

“We allow residents to go down to the kitchen for a window where they can talk on the phone and see them,” he said. “We have a TV system in each resident’s room. We contacted families to request pictures of them saying hello.”

The photos then rotate on all of the TVs in the rooms.

“They get to see other families and theirs as well,” he said.

With 34 residents in the main building, Janes said, the community in the facility is like larger society with people of all types and needs.

“Our residents are a microcosm of anywhere,” he said. “Some of us struggle with being at home and some are OK with it.”

The community has stepped up wi try and cater to the residents, he said, including donations of new books from the Clark County Public Library.

Janes said he wishes more could be allowed for the residents.

“This is a challenge for the staff and the residents,” he said. “It’s frustrating, it’s difficult. We’re here to keep our residents safe. What we’re doing is all we can allow.

“Our staff is still here, and we’re engaged,” he said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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