After months on lockdown, many long-term care facilities are allowing visitors again.

Since the coronavirus outbreak came into full effect in March, long-term care facilities, like The Homestead Assisted Living Center in Rexburg, shut their doors to all visitors, including family members.

Many residents have had to sit and wait until the day came that their family members could be in the same room as them again. For residents at The Homestead, that day has finally come.

“When the family members come in the residents’ faces light up, the family members’ faces light up,” Jenkins said. “Just the anticipation knowing that their family members are coming in…has given a lot of boost to their morale.”

According to Jenkins, while the center is allowing visitors, there are still heavy restrictions on who can come in or out of the facility.

Jenkins said the center allows a family member to come and visit for only 30 minutes between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. When family members come to the center, they must wear a mask the entire time they are in the facility. They also cannot have physical contact with their loved ones, but they can sit down with them in the same room.

“It’s so great that they are able to come in and sit down at the table together and talk,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said at this point; they aren’t sure when these types of restrictions will be lifted.

Throughout the lockdown, family members have had to keep in contact with their loved ones in long-term care facilities over video calls. On some occasions, family and other people found ways to wave from the outside of the center, like back in May when Jenkins and others helped organize a “Drive-By Parade” to send their love to residents.

Jenkins said for right now, these procedures will be in place until further notice, and in the meantime, the center is planning the big events for the remainder of the year for seniors.

When it comes to if those field trips and other events for the seniors can take place, Jenkins said we just have to wait and see how the coronavirus pandemic plays out.