By Beth David, Editor
It’s not just nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities that won’t let people through the doors. Assisted living complexes are also not allowing visitors to their residents. But that did not stop Ruth Niemcyk’s family from giving her all the trappings and fixin’s of a birthday party at Atria in Fairhaven.
Ruth turned 85 on 4/23/20, and her two daughters, her son and other relatives visited, from a distance, with signs and balloons, a lobster roll dinner, and cheesecake.
Workers wheeled Ruth out so she could see her family members.
“It was a surprise for mom,” said Karen Niemczyk, Ruth’s daughter. “Because none of us has been able to see her since the beginning of March”
The Ruth’s children try to talk to her every day, but there can be technical difficulties with the cell phone, so sometimes they have to get staff members to help with the cell phone, said Karen. But, mostly, they are able to talk to her at least once a day.
A traditional birthday would include a lunch or dinner at a restaurant, or a meal at one of Ruth’s children’s homes.
The new reality is difficult for everyone, but they are all trying to make the best of it.
“We really miss seeing her and can’t wait for this to be over,” said Karen. “And we all hope she stays healthy and everybody else stays healthy there.”
It’s especially hard on Ruth, who has to spend so much time in her room, said Karen. The activities have all been canceled, and to complicate matters more, Ruth had a broken ankle a few months ago, so she is not as mobile as she was.
“Everybody’s stuck in their own apartments,” said Karen. “It’s a pain, but it’s the right thing to do at this point.”
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