Though most people are finding ways to adapt during the age of COVID-19, the complications that the virus imposes still looms over some families as they try to find a way to get back to normal.
This is especially true for Lois George, who would be at risk if she caught the virus, and her family as she approaches her 100th birthday while residing at Settlers Ridge Care Center.
“I guess our concern is, as much as anything, we hope that she understands why nobody's coming to see her,” Leonard George, her son said. “Because she's pretty hard of hearing, and we hope she can understand when they tell her coronavirus, you know, if she knows what that means.”
In March, Settlers Ridge stated on their Facebook page that out of an
“abundance of caution,” they were restricting onsite facility visits to only essential visitors.
Since then, the center has been doing different events and activities to keep its residents happy and engaged. One of these was a visit from famed Celina horse trainer Punk Carter, who took his horses and team to Settlers Ridge to bring some lighthearted fun to the seniors during isolation. Another instance was when Prosper resident Mandi Jackson organized a virtual variety show in April for a number of senior communities including Settlers Ridge. The goal of her and her congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was to connect and care for the members of the senior community, albeit virtually.
However, in the case of loved ones and family wanting to connect and visit, the center recommended finding “other ways” to communicate, including over telephone, email, text, video chat, or social media. But of course, in the case of a one hundredth birthday, it’s just not the same.
“It’s not like any other birthday,” Leonard George said. “She was used to seeing us every day and this is something a lot of people have no control over right now.”
Lois George’s birthday is on June 23, and Settlers Ridge has been working with her family on a way that they can still celebrate while also taking proper precautions.
“They say we can see her through a window, but she can’t see very well, so we don’t know if she’ll be able to see us,” said Leonard George. “But we’ll all be out there on her birthday, and hopefully she’ll know we’re there.”
The situation that the George family is stuck in is one that many families around the world can relate to these days, and it’s a deeply emotional problem when people cannot see their loved ones safely. But despite everything, this family is determined to make their great grandmother’s birthday as special as ever.