Gatesville: Nursing home allows visitors to reunite with residents

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 9:13 PM CDT
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more available, a number of nursing homes including Hillside Medical Lodge in Gatesville are allowing visitations in person again.

Robin Tenboer’s mother and stepfather are residents at Hillside. She says when the pandemic first hit Central Texas, not being able to be in the same room with them was incredibly challenging.

“There’s been a few times in this past year that we thought we were going to lose our mom,” she said.

“She does have dementia issues and she’s mostly blind. So, she does a lot through touch. That’s how she communicated, she’d reach out and hold your hand and pet your arm when she saw us. With my dad, he has bad hearing. So, seeing him through the glass, he’d get frustrated and it would make him upset. It was really hard because he couldn’t communicate with us.”

One year later, with staff and residents vaccinated, Hillside is now allowing visitors. According management, face masks will still be required. While there are no limitations for regular visits, they do recommend 3-4 people in one room at a time.

For staff members like Michael Beasley, they’re happy to give their patients what they truly need most.

“We’re super excited to have more visitors and see our residents actually living more of a life instead of being quarantined in-house and visiting just with staff,” he said.

“Getting more interaction is what they really need.”

Hillside in Gatesville isn’t the only one allowing visitors. The Rosewood Retirement Community in Killeen is available for visitation as long as those visitors test negative for COVID. In McLennan County, Crestview Healthcare is allowing caregivers to visit, but only one at a time for 30 minutes.

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