Coronavirus: Families excited to reunite as nursing home restrictions are lifted

Sheryl Hahn, right, talks about finally getting to see her mother, Mary Worley, who's been a patient at Villa Springfield Friday. They had to social distance in the parking lot and kept a table between them but Sheryl said it was worth it. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Sheryl Hahn, right, talks about finally getting to see her mother, Mary Worley, who's been a patient at Villa Springfield Friday. They had to social distance in the parking lot and kept a table between them but Sheryl said it was worth it. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Nursing home residents are finally able to reunite with family members, outdoors, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Gov. Mike DeWine imposed a ban on nursing home visits in mid-March in an effort to protect those among the most vulnerable to the virus — the elderly. As of Monday afternoon, 8,846 of Ohio’s 88,997 confirmed COVID-19 cases have come from patients at nursing homes. On June 29, DeWine announced visits could resume outdoors on beginning on July 20.

Sheryl Hahn and her mother Mary Worley, who is a Villa Springfield Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center resident, sat outdoors across a table from each other for a visit on July 24. It was the first time the two had seen each other without a window between them since March 3.

“Until you are in this situation, you have no idea,” Hahn said. “I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone. To not be able to see your parent, not to be able to hold their hand, it’s horrible.”

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Worley said during their time apart, the two talked on the phone but mostly she spent her quarantine, “watching television or taking a nap.”

“Honestly it was just kind of boring. Not all of the time, they made me as comfortable as they could, but it does get boring. Obviously I would prefer to see her,” Worley said.

Villa Springfield offers a wide variety of inpatient care including; a rehab clinic for inpatient and outpatient therapy, transitional care unit, longterm care and respite care.

Hahn said she hopes to bring her mom home this month, as she is currently living at Villa Springfield while recovering from surgery.

Throughout the pandemic, Worley said the dynamic between her and her daughter has shifted.

“You know, she’s my baby, but now she’s mothering me and worrying about me,” Worley said.

Hahn said she doesn’t mind.

“I’m just so happy to see her. I’m so very very very very happy,” Hahn said.

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