A Mother's Day without COVID restrictions brings seniors in care homes back together with family

·2 min read
Beverley Radford (left) and Irene Sturge (right) visit their mother Mary Sturge on Mothers Day at Westbury Estates in St. John's.  (Submitted - image credit)
Beverley Radford (left) and Irene Sturge (right) visit their mother Mary Sturge on Mothers Day at Westbury Estates in St. John's. (Submitted - image credit)
Submitted
Submitted

For the Sturge family in St. John's, this Mother's Day brought a little extra freedom.

It's the first Mother's Day since Newfoundland and Labrador's COVID-19 public health restrictions have been lifted, allowing Mary Sturge to have her daughters Irene Sturge and Beverley Radford visit her at Westbury Estates.

She's also now able leave the personal care home to visit her six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

"It's not a normal situation at all, so just to be able to come in, even just wearing a mask is a little bit of freedom, and to get her out is also freedom," Irene Sturge said.

Mary said it's "wonderful" to be able to spend the day with family. While she only moved in at Westbury Estates earlier in the year, the end of COVID restrictions in mid-March were a relief.

"[It was] not good, no, but that's all better now," she said.

Her daughters say it's been an adjustment for Mary being in a personal care home, but more visits from family recently has made things easier.

"When you're so used to family connections when you're in your own home, they're there coming and going all the time, whenever they want, and all of a sudden you have restrictions from an institution because of COVID, things are different, and that puts the stresses on everybody as well," Irene said.

"But the fact that they're lifted means that everybody's happier, and I think, better off for it."

Irene said it's helpful for her mother to be able to see family more easily and more often.

"She's happy here and well cared for, but it's still nice, the family connection is so important at this age," she said.

"To be finally able to do that, I think, is important mentally and physically."

The lifting of the public health restrictions will also allow Mary's third daughter to come home to visit next week.

"When the restrictions were in place, she was in Montreal and unable to visit, so that was very stressful," Irene said.

"It's a Mother's Day week for us."

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