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Abbeville nursing home keeping loved ones together amid visitor restrictions

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 16:21:46-04

Eastridge Nursing Home in Abbeville is making the best of a difficult situation, as visitors are being asked not to visit nursing and assisted living facilities due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced last week new restrictions after speaking with U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

The Loiusiana Nursing Home Association is also asking citizens not to visit nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The Centers for Disease Control says that because of their "congregate nature and residents served (e.g. older adults often with underlying chronic medical conditions)," residents are at a high risk of being affected by COVID-19.

Tuesday, administrators at Eastridge posted on Facebook, asking those who can't Facetime or video chat their loved one to record a short video message and send it via a private message. Staff will then play the video and send a response back.

Photos from the nursing home show families talking to one another through a glass door and a message from a resident to their family.

Ronnie Whitworth visits his 88-year-old mother at Eastridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center nearly every day.

"We talk, and then she'll always say, 'That's my boy. That's my son. That's my baby,'" said Whitworth.

Since their visits are a little different now, Whitworth has found another way to communicate with his mother Verna.

"So, today, I surprised her out the window with this, just telling her I love her and we'll get through this," said Whitworth as he held up a dry erase board.

Although the situation is difficult, Whitworth admits it's just a bump in the road.

"We will get through this. There's not a doubt in the world we'll get through this," said Whitworth. "This is just something going on, but we'll get through this. She's going to be fine."

Whitworth already has plans for the next time he's on the other side of the glass.

"As soon as things get better, I'm going to cook a good okra gumbo and bring her some."

You can find more photos by following Eastridge's Facebook page.