NewsPinellas County


Families hope restrictions ease on long-term care facility visits in Florida

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 17:53:34-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Minnie Hicks, 98, has dementia, but still remembers that she loved to play golf.

Her 81-year-old daughter would go and visit her at the assisted living facility just about every night before COVID-19 hit.

“Because I’m her daughter. I’m the only daughter. She’s my only mother and I just felt she needed some companionship," said Janet Lane.

Visitors for so many in long term care facilities have been limited or shut off because of state regulations.

They were put in place to try and limit outbreaks where those who are most vulnerable live.

But we’ve heard from so many desperate to see loved ones.

They say the restrictions need to be eased.

“Unfortunately if we don’t get in soon. I don’t think she’s gonna go anywhere but further down," said granddaughter Crystal Thigpen.

Minnie’s daughter and granddaughter are able to take her to doctor’s appointments.

But they say their mom’s condition is getting worse without more human contact.

“She’s forgotten how to use the phone. We can see her aggravation. I guess is what it is and it’s really hard to calm her," said Thigpen.

“We are very fortunate to get her out to doctors because just having her out in a car, in about 10-15 minutes time in a car. She comes back to a little bit of normalcy," said Lane.

Minnie’s family says they’ll take every precaution if they are allowed back inside.

They just need to be with her.

And she needs them.

“My mom turned 81, my grandmother said to me, 'this is the first birthday your mom has had that I couldn’t kiss her,'" said Thigpen.