CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Shaved ice and social time were on the menu for residents of Living Center West in Cedar Rapids.
It was the first time that residents could eat together in the dining room, and vaccinated family members could visit loved ones without a mask.
“It makes me happy to see her,” said Joann Sebetka of Cedar Rapids. âShe felt alone. I could only see her 20 minutes at a time, and those 20 minutes went by too quickly.
Sebetka’s mother, Evelyn Peska, lives with Alzheimer’s disease and lived at Living Center West. She did not always understand the changes brought about by the pandemic. The isolation has taken its toll.
âI came to visit her once and she couldn’t remember my name,â she said. âIt was super tough. I never thought I would have seen the day my mom wouldn’t remember me.
The CDC has updated the guidelines to allow events like this to happen. Vaccinated people would find themselves in person again without a mask. People who did not receive the vaccine still had to wear a mask and social distancing. Some members cried when they saw loved ones for the first time.
Alexis Benion, director of nursing, said the increase in the number of community vaccinations was the reason events like this could happen. However, for a complete backtracking on mitigation measures, more people need to roll up their sleeves.
âIt’s important to our residents,â said Benion. âPeople should talk to their loved ones who have had the vaccine. “
To allow more moments like these between a mother and a daughter.
âI love the short time I spend with her,â Sebetka said.
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