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Nursing homes in North Alabama encourage family members to video call loved ones

People who work at nursing homes say they are encouraging people to take a moment out of their day to pick up the phone and video call a loved one or stop by and wave hello through the window.

Posted: Apr 19, 2020 6:12 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2020 9:34 AM

Nursing homes across North Alabama aren't allowing family members to visit and one local certified nursing assistant says seniors can start feeling depressed without contact with their families.

People who work at nursing homes say they are encouraging people to take a moment out of their day to pick up the phone and video call a loved one or stop by and wave hello through the window.

"We've taken time going to do window visits and mama's in the 12th year of her journey with dementia," said daughter, Debby Jennings.

Jennings usually visits her mother in Barfield Health Care nursing home in Guntersville at least twice a week, but that's changed.

"I miss her so much. We miss her so much. Those daily visits just kept us going," said Jennings.

Jennings says the last time she saw her mother in person was back in March. She visited her through the window last Friday.

"She really didn't know who I was. I did get a wave from her," said Jennings.

She tells WAAY 31 she believes the lack of contact is making her mother's dementia worse.

"There was a nurse there coaching her, 'There's Debby. Wave to Debby.' Finally, I got a smile and a wave, and that was awesome," said Jennings.

Kyshell Frierson is a certified nursing assistant and works with seniors regularly. She says she's noticed how coronavirus is impacting her patients.

"Emotionally, it can be very depressing when you want to see family," she said.

Frierson says a quick video call can make a huge difference in a patient's mental health.

"They light up. They just light up when they get to speak with their loved ones and when they get to see them," said Frierson.

Jennings is visiting her mom through the window as much as she can and hopes she can be reunited with her soon.

"We are going to have chocolate and a Coca Cola just as soon as I can go in there. I just won't let her go. I'll hug her so tight," said Jennings.

Frierson also works at Huntsville Hospital. She tells WAAY 31 everyone is doing their best to create a positive environment for patients who for now, won't be able to see their family.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 345916

Reported Deaths: 4372
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby45850645
Davidson40834409
Knox17686142
Rutherford16918153
Hamilton15944139
Williamson1068176
Sumner9163134
Wilson705076
Out of TN692847
Montgomery623582
Sullivan612491
Putnam573779
Washington5609101
Maury556661
Blount518055
Madison5112107
Unassigned493018
Bradley484533
Sevier469131
Robertson357751
Tipton349138
Hamblen332258
Dyer309349
Gibson302663
Greene287871
Anderson274427
Dickson274232
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Bedford256428
Carter255053
Obion252849
Lawrence251532
Cumberland243535
McMinn234755
Warren227118
Hardeman220937
Roane220626
Loudon218518
Jefferson216431
Fayette214838
Weakley208035
Lauderdale200322
Monroe200042
Franklin194232
Trousdale189712
Hawkins182334
Wayne181210
Henderson178532
Macon177027
Hardin172625
White167418
Marshall165818
Carroll164434
Haywood159530
Rhea156730
Cocke155528
Overton150834
Cheatham149416
Campbell148322
Lincoln147113
Henry145017
Smith138419
Johnson137621
McNairy137533
Giles136044
Fentress117120
Lake11525
Bledsoe11395
Hickman112017
Crockett111025
DeKalb109121
Marion104017
Chester99419
Scott9667
Grainger92915
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Unicoi79125
Benton76415
Claiborne7539
Grundy74214
Lewis71914
Cannon7133
Union6945
Morgan6796
Jackson66410
Humphreys6617
Polk63714
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Clay52818
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Perry46120
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Van Buren3422
Hancock1473

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