BEAUMONT, Texas — Most days Mr. Fussell comes to see his wife at the Beaumont nursing home she now stays in.
On those days, he sits and visits with his wife of almost 47 years all day long, according to Angel Roberts, who handles marketing and admissions for Beaumont Health Care Center.
Today isn’t most days and for the next few weeks or possibly months they won’t be thanks to the coronavirus.
Since Monday, March 9, Mr. Fussell hasn’t been able to make his daily visit to the Beaumont Health Care Center because the center, like nursing homes all over the country, have restricted visitors to help keep their residents from catching the virus.
The coronavirus and a visitation restriction didn’t stop him on Thursday morning though. With the OK of the staff he made his first visit in almost two weeks, according to Roberts.
And he came back again on Friday morning and that time a staff member at the center shot a photo of the happily married couple as they had their short visit.
In the photo Mr Fussell can be standing outside the front door of the nursing home staring through the glass as his 84-year-old wife looks up at him from her wheel chair.
Although the visit may have been much shorter than his normal visits it was a visit none the less.
He spent about 10 minutes with her, separated by a pane of safety glass, before he had to head back home.
If you look closely at the photo you can see Mrs. Fussell’s reflection in the glass as she looks back at him.
Older adults are more at risk for contracting the coronavirus and the risk only grows with age according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The photo was posted on the center's Facebook page Friday morning and by the afternoon it had been shared almost 400 times.
People with serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, are also more at risk according to the CDC.
The CDC has also released the following guidelines for nursing homes…
- Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations
- Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel (HCP), including non-essential healthcare personnel (e.g., barbers)
- Cancel all group activities and communal dining