Long-term care facilities offer a unique way to visit families during the pandemic

Cottages built for visitation

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA — Two long-term care facilities in Southeast Georgia are giving families and residents a unique way to meet during the pandemic.

Southeast Georgia Health System’s senior care centers in St. Mary’s and Brunswick are helping families and the ones they love adapt to a new normal.

“It’s just a closer touch,” said Rhonda Grant.

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Grant is the administrator at the senior care center in St. Mary’s.

Instead of families seeing their loved ones through window visits and virtual calls, two visitor cottages set up outside will help families reunite and spend more time together. They even have a front porch and air-conditioning units inside.

“It provides privacy for the residents and they can visit 15-20 minutes. We offered window visits and it just wasn’t the same,” Grant explained.

Grant says the concept was developed in light of the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on long-term care facilities.

She says the feedback from families has been exceptional.

“They were excited, and so we had a first couple of visits inside, and they were very well pleased. They walked away feeling so much better than they had,” Grant said.

According to Grant, there have been no reported positive cases of coronavirus at the center in the past two months.