Missing Grammy: Coronavirus rules keep Shoals family separated from loved one in nursing home

The Fowler family shares their struggles with not being able to see their "grammy" since March because of the pandemic.

Posted: Jun 11, 2020 3:08 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2020 12:08 AM

Thrusday, WAAY 31 spoke with a family who hasn't seen a loved one for more than three months, and it's all because of the coronavirus.

This family is one of many with people in nursing homes. Visitors have not been allowed in nursing homes since mid-March.

The Fowler family told WAAY 31 the matriarch of the family, Edith Sheppard, who is better known as Grammy, is in the Lauderdale Christian nursing home.

Holidays and special occasions have been tough for the family.

Grammy will celebrate her 94th birthday on Sunday, and for the first time her family won't physically be able to be a part of it.

"It's been extremely difficult for my mom. She gets emotional even talking about it," said Russell Fowler, Grammy's grandson.

Before coronavirus, the whole family would go see Grammy more than once a week at her nursing home. Since mid-March they haven't been able to do their regular visits.

"Just interacting with her, seeing her smile. She has Alzheimer's so it's difficult and I miss having the conversations with her," said Fowler. "It's tough driving by there and not being able to swing in and say hello. There is nothing really that prepares you to stop like that."

Fowler said they get to FaceTime with Grammy but it's not the same as being physically there. This Sunday she will turn 94 and Fowler said he knows it will be tough on his mom, Kathy, because she can't be with her mom on such a big birthday.

"I know it's going to be especially rough for (my mom, Kathy) not to be able to hug her and see her and give her a kiss. I feel terrible. It's hard on all of us but it's especially hard on my mom," Fowler said of Grammy's upcoming birthday.

Fowler said the care his Grammy gets at her nursing home is spectacular. 

It's unclear when people will be allowed inside to visit their loved ones in nursing homes.

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