Families eager to see loved ones at nursing homes, but concerned about new rules
BRISTOL, R.I. (WLNE) — Jack Galligan hasn’t been able to see Audrey, his wife of 61 years, since the state stopped allowing nursing home visitation.
“She’s a wonderful woman, very bright, a lot of fun,” said the Bristol resident of his wife. “What more could I hope for? And it’s very difficult when I’m not allowed to see her.”
Phone calls and FaceTime are minimally successful because of their conditions: she has difficulty hearing after a traumatic brain injury, while he has difficulty speaking and struggles with Alzheimer’s.
“If they could just see each other again, it would really help my father who’s declined quite a bit in three months,” said son Charlie Galligan. “And it’s heartbreaking.”
That’s why the family is happy Jack and Audrey can see each other again starting Wednesday.
But Charlie has written a letter to the governor and Dr. Alexander-Scott expressing his disappointment that other facilities like casinos…were allowed to reopen first.
“I think everyone understands that nursing home residents are the at-risk population,” said his wife, Kerry Crane. “But as this drags out, when does that social isolation become more detrimental?”
They also have concerns about some of the new regulations like limiting visits to one person at a time or stopping visitations for a positive COVID case.
“If you just shut it down every time you get one positive test, I fear that this isolation could just be pushed into perpetuity,” Charlie said.
Yet even though he won’t get to hold Audrey’s hand, Jack is still happy he can see her again.
“I really love her,” he said. “Love her as much as I ever did. More than ever.”