Tampa Family Highlights Challenges of Adjusting to Restricted Facility Visits During COVID-19


For the Myers family, visiting their father’s care facility was a near daily routine before the onset of COVID-19. But these days, their visitations have been limited to window visits and FaceTime calls, creating a new and stressful reality for families facing FTD.

In an interview with the Tampa Bay-based ABC News affiliate, Ellyne Myers shares the challenges she has faced in navigating her husband’s FTD care during this time. Her husband, Rick, was diagnosed with FTD and Alzheimer’s disease in his early 50s, soon after which she made the difficult decision to move him to a long-term care facility.

Ellyne speaks to the frustration she feels surrounding her inability to visit with her husband in person due to a facility lockdown since March. While she acknowledges the need for safety to prevent the spread of the virus, Ellyne and the couple’s two daughters describe the emotional impact the situation has had, as one month of limited visitations has slowly turned into four.

“It’s very frustrating, and it makes me really angry, but my first thing is their safety, and I would never do anything to jeopardize that,” she told ABC. “The window visits help, cause the windows open and we play music and we talk to him and we’ll get him to smile or laugh.”

The family hopes the state will be able to curb their case count, which in turn will allow for expanded visitations. In some states, nursing homes have recently eased COVID-related restrictions, allowing for forms of in-person visitations such as outdoor visits that are socially distanced. While a risk of spreading the virus remains, facilities hope safely implementing expanded visitations will help families and their loved ones to cope with the increased stress and uncertainty of this time.

Det latest issue of AFTD’s Partners in FTD Care newsletter addresses the challenges of facility care amidst the pandemic, including concerns surrounding visitations and communication, and how families can work together with staff to maximize care during this time. AFTD also spoke to families about the ways in which they are adapting to suspended facility visits for the seneste udgave af nyhedsbrevet Hjælp og håb.

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