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Mom's retirement community is locked down again, covid cases are climbing way up again in central Texas.


They did have a policy that you could visit a resident masked, socially distanced outside on their front deck( they had tables and chairs) no more than twice a week, and memory care family members needed to call ahead and they would bring them out ( based on the person - no flight risks)


But now, Window visits are the only option. Memory Care is on first floor, and her room window is available to do this but - they can't open the window, it must stay closed, and there no good way to sit by the window, if she has a chair there, she couldn't see out. She's hard of hearing, so communication would be difficult, and I don't know if seeing me outside the window would be comforting or agitating.


Anyone have any experiences to share?

Dear Gracie61,
Yes, I do window visits with my mom. She is 95 with Alzheimer's related dementia but since 2015 she had been living in an AL facility. When the lockdown happened in March, I immediately thought "oh know, I'm not going to have any idea what's going on in there" plus the fact she would be lonely, scared and they were all being confined to their rooms. So my husband bought her an iPad as her apartment faced a courtyard where there were no windows for me to see her. We did use the iPad a few times but, then suddenly she wasn't getting up in order to use it (it was in the living room and unbeknownst to me she was very ill in bed due to severe dehydration and then having contracted COVID). The facility ended up having a lot of COVID cases and deaths. I sent her to ER where she had a four-day hospital stay and then the hospital released her to a rehab facility for three weeks. I knew I could never send her back to the same facility even though they did have a MC wing.
So that was another reason I couldn't send her back to the previous facility. How could my mom go from not seeing me since February 28th, to being hospitalized (which of course I couldn't see her there either) and then be placed in a rehab facility that had a window which I visited daily only to go back to the way it was at her old apartment with no window - the answer was I couldn't. So we ended up moving her to a new facility and put her in MC because now she needed much more and better care along with hospice being involved. They gave me four apartments to choose from. Thankfully, they were on the first floor and each of them had a window. Since, her move to MC on May 19th, I've been going to her window almost daily. We brought an old fashioned desk telephone, she still has her cellphone and her iPad. I used to call the front desk and tell them to have someone open the blind so we could visit but, they were getting tired of me doing that daily so I came up with the idea of parking outside her window, calling her on the landline and having her push her pendant button until the caregiver came and opened the blind and then I would go right up to the window. Her window is closed too but, since her hospital bed is facing the window, it's no problem for me to have her in bed on the telephone (I use my cellphone to call her on it). Occasionally if the bed is lowered too much, I walk her through the steps of using the hospital bed control until she is more upright. Sometimes I'm there for 45 minutes to an hour at the most. I'm the only child and my husband and I are her only visitors so I know she is glad for the visits!
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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My mother is in a nursing home - not in Memory Care, though she has mild to moderate dementia. There have been two cases so far in the facility but only in the staff. The entire facility is one floor and every room has a window.
I visit her every other day. I go early in the morning while the building is still in shadow and it’s cooler. I bring a fold up chair to sit outside her window and a portable fan that blows a mist on me. Every time I visit, I bring her a flavored coffee and some treat - sliced avocado, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.

I found a great baby monitor on Amazon with a talk feature. She has the receiver in her room and I have the “parent unit”. This is way better than yelling through the window, as she is incapable of using a phone. When the nurse or CNA goes to her room, she turns on the monitor and I link my unit with hers. I am then able to talk to my mother and whoever else is in the room easily, and my mother has no buttons to push!
I spend a few minutes talking to the CNA, making sure my mother’s oxygen is on, footrests on her wheelchair, and anything else I can see needs doing. They put her rolling tray by the window with her snack and coffee, roll her up to the tray table, turn down the TV, turn off the AC (otherwise person on other side of window gets blasted periodically with warm exhaust), and my mother and I visit for about an hour. I have this down to a science! I say we visit, but my mother’s conversational abilities are very limited. She just enjoys seeing me and I her. Often we sit in silence drinking our coffee. It is what it is. I wonder how long all this will last.
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Reply to Treeartist
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I do window visits in memory care every Sunday with my mother who's mostly deaf. They bring her to the front room window with the house phone landline. They call my cell phone and that's how we talk....we're about 1 foot apart so it's almost like a real visit except I'm not screaming at the top of my lungs to be heard and having her ask me why I'm hollering. The visit is 20 minutes which is just enough time, imo.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I’m doing window visits with my dad. The staff bring Him to a large day room that’s located on the exterior side of the building. The policy is not to open the window but some aides will open it. I stand back quite a ways and we chat a bit. I’m close and stop by every couple days but lots of times he’s sleeping and I don’t want to wake him. I average about one visit per week.

Dad hardly knows me now but he’s usually pleasant but quite delusional. I just roll with it.

I don’t think he gets much from my visits, it’s gone from his memory almost immediately but it’s good for me to see him and to check on his care and condition. His caregivers are very good. He Is always dressed and groomed pretty well.
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Reply to Windyridge
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