Those with family members in nursing homes hope COVID-19 vaccine will bring in-person visits closer to reality

Many families hope the COVID-19 vaccine will soon allow them to visit loved ones in nursing homes

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - “We miss you, granny, you know.....we really miss you”, says Leigh Ann Charles, whose grandmother lives in a nursing home.

Corine Lee, otherwise known as Granny, currently at magnolia assisted living where she’s lived all throughout the pandemic. Her granddaughter Leigh Ann says that life without Granny just doesn’t feel quite right.

“It’s easy for people to just think well they’re safe they’re taken care of and things like that but...it’s just not the same,” Leigh Ann says.

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Her visitations with her grandmother have been limited. Mostly short drive-byes or looking through a window. But they have made the best of the situation.

“So, we just got her a cellphone, and it was meant so that whenever we do the drive byes we can get out and there’s a window in between us, she can be on her phone. But at 92 that’s not easy for her to handle and do so it makes it very difficult just to have a 3-minute conversation you know there’s a lot involved,” Leigh Ann says.

Leigh Ann says that not having her grandmother this Christmas has been the toughest part of the year, so far.

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“We were able to do a drive-by that morning and we all had gifts, so we gave her the gifts, but the hardest part was driving away. Just knowing that she was going back to her room alone and we were all about to have dinner together”, said Leigh Ann.

But she says that the new vaccine prioritizing those living in nursing homes gives her and her family that much more hope.

“I just think that it gives us a little bit of a glimpse of hope that we’re one step closer to being able to be with her”, said Leigh Ann.

Leigh Ann also says that she understands the skepticism about the vaccines, but that at this point there’s a bigger picture ahead.

“I know everyone has their concerns and I think they’re valid concerns but at the same time...if this means I get to hug her and take her out and hold her, I’ll do whatever it takes,” Leigh Ann says.

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