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Your Life Wellness assisted living facility gets creative to keep families in touch

Posted at 8:06 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 20:06:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — While many businesses may soon be reopening, Governor Ron DeSantis has not yet authorized nursing homes to reopen.

One facility we've spoken with says, given the governor's orders, they haven't even begun thinking about processes for permitting guests.

Instead, they say their workers are going above and beyond to keep those in their care connected to family members by organizing innovative events.

"Family members have been so active in our community, and now that they're not here, our staff has stepped up a little more to make sure that no one feels left out at all," said Asya Williams, the director of Your Life Wellness. "Our engagement department has really really beefed up to make sure that the residents are engaged and that the activities keep flowing."

Pictures show just how close family members want to be, and how far social distancing keeps them from a warm embrace.

Nursing home administrators like Michelle Straughn at Your Life Memory Care of Tallahassee say they're doing everything they can to fill the void for clients and families until leaders say it's safe for them to reunite once more.

"It's stressful for them, not to be able to come in and see mom or dad, or their husband or wife, and spend the time with them" Straughn said. "And it's hard for a residents, because they are not truly understanding why their love ones aren't coming to visit with them."

So, staff members at Your Life are doing what they can to keep families connected. Just like they did on Easter.

"We had a parade a few weeks ago," said Straughn. "So the families drove by decorated their cars residents were outside at six feet apart still social distancing."

"We also are still doing our FaceTime videos where the families can call in and do a FaceTime video with the resident with their loved one," Williams said.

Since then, they've also hosted a chalk walk and allowed family members to decorate client's window areas.

Next week, they plan to host a socially distanced Mother's Day fashion show.

"We're putting on a fashion show," Williams said. "It will have a runway and all will block off a section under our portico where the residents will get all dolled up make up hair and everything and then will have a red carpet that comes out."

Just like the parade, the event will allow families to engage with their loved ones while practicing social distancing.

Administrators say they will keep coming up with creative events as long as the ban on visitors to nursing homes remains in place. In all, there are a total of 80 people who live at the Your life Memory care facility.