Nursing homes bringing Thanksgiving to residents who can’t leave facilities

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:20 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Thanksgiving is a holiday nursing home residents look forward to every year, when typically, they’d get to leave to spend time with family.

But with COVID-19, for many, that won’t be an option.

“We’re working very hard to make their Thanksgiving as great as we can,” said Traditions Senior Living and Memory Care Outreach Director Kathy Thomison.

Instead of going home for the holidays, many people living in assisted living centers and nursing homes will be spending the day with each other.

“We all feel like a family. And of course, it’s different but we’re just making the best of it,” Thomison said.

Any other year at Traditions Senior Living and Memory Care, they’d host a Thanksgiving dinner for all residents and their families where they’d feed more than 100 people.

But Thomison said this year, they’re trying to make the holiday feel as normal as possible.

“We’ll still have turkey and dressing and sweet potatoes and cranberries and pumpkin pies and all the good stuff. Yes,” Thomison said.

She said Traditions hasn’t had any staff or resident COVID-19 cases.

According to state guidelines, if any resident leaves a facility overnight or is exposed to a person with COVID-19, they’ll have to quarantine for 14 days.

They’re allowed two family members to visit who have to go through required training and only one can visit at a time.

Anyone else has to visit through plexiglass.

To keep spirits high, they pray daily, sing and decorate.

“And they help us decorate. They get involved, they love it. It’s kind of a soothing thing to make it beautiful and fun,” Thomison said.

She said especially in a year like 2020, they’re counting their blessings.

“We just concentrate on what we’re thankful for, and try not to dwell on the problems that are going on in the world,” she said.

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