KATY, Texas - Mother's Day included a special reunion in Katy for a family who lives only a few miles from their mom but hasn't been able to see her in person during the pandemic.
Lisa Trapleina has missed her mom beyond measure the past year. She’s living at Sterling Oaks Rehabilitation in Katy, but it was too risky to visit in person during the height of the pandemic.
"I think most of us were thinking it was going to be for a month and a half or a couple of months, and then after a few months, we realized this is going to go on for a while and with Mother being in a nursing facility may be one of the last ones to be able to loosen the rules on, and let us see her in person. It really sunk in after a few months that this is really going to be tough," states Lisa.
It was, but finally, her mom got to visit home for a few hours to truly celebrate Mother's Day.
"It was just so wonderful. We both just teared up. I mean, just to be able to hug each other, it just meant so much, so much and it just makes you so grateful for things like that and have taken for granted in the past," says Lisa.
"It's very special because we had a lockdown," says her mom, Agnes.
It's also meaningful for the people who've helped take care of Ms. Agnes the past year at Sterling Oaks Rehabilitation. They have had to extend their caretaking skills to act more like family, in the absence of them during the pandemic.
"It's wonderful that they are able to see, spend time with family, in person, and to be able to leave the facility, again. I know that is crucial to a lot of them and just having that quality time and not having that for over a year. I know it's been really tough on the residents, so I'm just super excited that they get to be able to do that now," explains Kelly Linker
Lisa says thanks to COVID vaccines, their family now feels much safer to be around loved ones at high risk of complications from COVID. Sterling Oaks Rehabilitation was able to play a role in that, through their Infection Prevention of Excellence program, to help keep their residents safe and healthy.
"We were also able to have vaccine clinics come in here with three clinics, total. So we were offering the vaccination to all the staff and residents," states Kelly Linker, Administrator for Sterling Oaks.
They were anxious to help protect residents and workers, with more than 50,000 residents in nursing homes in Texas suffering from a diagnosis of COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, families like Lisa's relied on virtual visits to stay connected.
"We would just schedule the time, and they would make it happen and we could see Mother and it helped tremendously," says Lisa.
Now virtual hugs can turn into real ones with a new sense of freedom.
For more information: http://www.sterlingoaksrehab.com