A woman named Mary Daniel took on a dishwasher job just to see her husband in the nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic. She had not seen her husband, Steve, in 114 days after an FL state order barred visitors to nursing homes. Steve has early-onset Alzheimer’s which made him part of a high-risk group for COVID-19.
Mary reveals that her husband began living in an assisted living facility last July and has been living in a memory care unit ever since. She recognized how hard of a decision it was to make, but she wanted him to be in an environment where he could socialize.
Mary has a creative idea to get a job as a dishwasher during the pandemic so she can see her husband in nursing home
Of course, everything changed when the pandemic hit. She wasn’t allowed to go see him, period. “I went to see him every single night, got him ready for bed,” she says. “I went in on March 10 and on March 11 they called and said, ‘You can’t come back.'”
Due to the risk of spreading coronavirus in nursing homes, FL Gov. Ron DeSantis barred visitors from nursing homes. This is especially due to the fact that a lot of these nursing home residents have underlying health conditions, make it a very high-risk area. Mary also said she would try to visit him through a window, but it was too painful. Her husband would just stand there and cry because he had no idea what was happening.
Even with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he recognizes her
That’s when Mary got the idea to ask the nursing home if she could volunteer or get a job at the facility. “They said, ‘Let’s wait to see what happens,'” she recalls.
“Then, out of the blue two weeks ago, they called and said, ‘Do you want a job?’ When I found out it was as a dishwasher, I thought, ‘Well, okay! I guess I’m a dishwasher now.'” Mary remembers that when she finally showed up at the nursing home, her husband was teary-eyed and even said her name. It was a sign that he recognized her!
Abiding by strict rules and guidelines so they can stay together
Thankfully, Mary can report that her husband’s nursing home is relatively small and has reported zero cases of coronavirus. She has also been tested several times, and all of them came back negative. “I had to have a background check, a drug test, a COVID test, 20 hours of video training on everything, including infectious diseases. It was 100 percent legit,” she says.
“The last thing I want is to be reckless and bring it in there… I’ve been tested three times. I’m not going places I don’t need to go. If I have to go to the grocery store, I’m social distancing.” We’re so happy to hear that these two have been able to reunite!