WEST FARGO — Even in the cold, windy weather, Jodee Bock came for one of her frequent visits with her mother Maurene, who lives at Eventide's Sheyenne Crossings Care Center in West Fargo.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, she speaks with her mom over the phone while she stands outside a window so they can still talk face-to-face.
With most nursing homes and care centers barring visitors to mitigate the risk of spreading coronavirus, family and friends are getting creative when it comes time to communicate with their loved ones living in the facilities.
A longtime elementary school teacher, Maurene has lived at Eventide's Sheyenne Crossings for four years. She and the other 200 residents at the care facility are experiencing the unique ways friends and family use to keep in touch during the crisis.
"When you see the residents, even if they get a glimpse of that family member, their face lights up and that is why we are here, to enrich their lives," said Sheyenne Crossings executive director Brady Johnsrud.
The no-visitation rule has been adopted by nursing homes in both North Dakota and Minnesota. There is such concern about keeping the virus from spreading into nursing homes that in "end of life" situations, family members are allowed inside only when death is imminent.
So many things in our lives right now feel upside down, which is why staying connected to loved ones is more important than ever. Jodee and Maurene's visit may not have been perfect, but it was a tender family moment nonetheless.
"This will be over soon enough (and) we will be back in touch — in real touch," Jodee said to her mother.
"Yes we will," her mother replied.