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A Florida woman took a dishwashing job at a nursing home in order to see her husband after they weren’t able to hug for 114 days as a result of the pandemic, reports Global News.
Mary Shannon Daniel was forced to see her husband, Steve—who has early onset Alzheimer’s—through the window of a nursing home.
The nursing home has not allowed visitors since orders were made by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to maintain the safety of long-term care residents.
“I told him I’d be there with him, holding his hand,” said Daniel. “We tried a window visit. He just cried. You can’t explain it to him.”
She felt she had no options left after the pandemic regulations became more strict—then the nursing facility came up with the idea to offer Daniel a job.
"I appreciate the opportunity," she said of the dishwashing job.
Daniel shared a post to social media showing a picture of her washing dishes at the home and one of her standing next to her husband.
"After 114 days, I got to hug my husband today. I also washed a lot of dishes. Proof where there’s a will, there’s a way," said the post.
Daniel was worried that her husband might not recognize her after being apart for so long, but she was overjoyed with his response.
"He was teary-eyed," she said when speaking to First Coast News. "He touched my face, even with my mask on … He knew me. He called me Mary."
Some families have not been as lucky as Daniel as they have had to spend months apart from loved ones with a new executive order pushing a ban on nursing home visits another 60 days.
Daniel was aware of this and decided to create a Facebook support group, which she called "Caregivers for Compromise — because isolation kills too!"
Many have shared their circumstances and sadness over being away from family members for so long.
One person said: "I placed my husband Dennis in memory care in October. He had Alzheimer’s disease. Quarantining was a disaster for him. My kind and loving husband became very agitated and aggressive and declined rapidly."
"My mom has been in a nursing facility after a massive stroke for 14 years, and I visit her every day," wrote another. "I tried one time to sit at her window, and it honestly made the situation worse. Her short-term memory is not good, and every day we repeat the same story about why I haven’t been there to see her."
Some of the group’s members called for the nursing homes to designate visitation areas equipped with Plexiglas to reduce the stress that many families are being forced to go through.