Payne County residents that reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are negatively affected by COVID-19.

“This social distancing is having a big effect on our patients and families,” Ginger Barsotti, owner of Physician’s Choice Hospice said.

PCH employees spend a majority of their time bonding with their patients in a critical time of their life.

Patients are used to being in a group setting playing bingo, participating in horse races and singing songs together.

PCH is still providing care to their patients, even if they aren’t able to have that one on one contact.

“Our patients are becoming depressed with the lack of contact with family and friends. The facilities are doing an amazing job of trying to keep morale up and providing excellent care,” Barsotti said.

Each facility has different guidelines set in place to protect the patients.

Some allow PCH employees to resume their original duties, while others allow limited contact inside the building and with the patients.

“We are seeing some facilities restricting all hospice staff from the facility, some are allowing us in once a week and others have no restrictions,” Barsotti said.“At the end of life we are allowed in with our staff to sit at the bedside continuously.”

Out of all facilities PCH employees frequent only two are on lockdown.

Besides the two on complete lockdown, family members are allowed in the room at the patients end of life.

Limited contact hasn’t stopped PCH from still giving the best care during this Pandemic. To keep themselves safe and others they utilize Personal Protective Equipment.

If a patient is exhibiting symptoms workers will be fully dressed in PPE which includes, gown, gloves, hair and shoe cover and a mask.

Barsotti said employees are asked to take their temperatures daily and are asked to wear a mask in all facilities.

Making social distancing easier on patients

“Of course the social distancing means that residents of facilities are not having meals in the dining room, no activities in groups, or visiting open areas,” Barsotti said.

PCH employees know that this is a difficult time for their patients. To relieve the stress of social distancing they bring activities that can be done in their room.

Staff also use FaceTime for their Patients to interact with family members and in some cases share a meal or help feed the patient.

Your local assisted living and nursing homes in Payne County would appreciate handmade crafts or cards to cheer them up. Barsotti said cards and crafts are always welcome.

“Remind the family that phone calls are always appreciated by the patients and residents in these facilities, and prayer is appreciated,” Barsotti said.

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