‘It’s been a long year:’ Families reunited as nursing home restrictions eased

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After months of isolation, nursing homes across the state are welcoming visitors. Tuesday, the state lifted visitor restrictions and Wednesday family members were reunited.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time,” said Silvia Walker.

Walker and her sister-in-law Kathi Lesueur could only see and feel their mom through this plastic hugging booth at McFarlan Home in Flint.

“It’s been a long year,” Walker said.

“We have missed being able to be in the same room with her,” Lesueur said.

A reunion without barriers and it won’t be the last now that the state has lifted restrictions on visitors at nursing homes. 

Wednesday McFarlan opened its doors to guests, and they began pouring in at 8:30 in the morning.

 “Smiles, tears, happiness lots of thankfulness and gratitude that we made it,” said McFarlan administrator Kelly Price.

Price along with other staff at McFarlan have been preparing for months knowing this day would eventually come. But there are some new requirements for visitors.

“Just letting the families know that they will have to have COVID tests and go through all the regulations, have the proper PPE,” Price said.

Along with social distancing and limiting visitors to 10 a day once a week.

“So, I won’t be able to come in and see her again for two weeks or for a month because the next time my brother will come,” Walker said.

97-year-old Bessie Miller was filled with emotion sitting across from her daughters, her first visitors of many since 2020.

“Hopefully things will ease up even more,” Lesueur said.

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