BOZEMAN — The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its guidelines for senior-living facilities, loosening previous restrictions.
“It’s been… It’s been difficult for our staff and it’s been difficult for our residents not being able to get a hug from anyone but staff,” explained Darcel Vaughn, the administrator at Gallatin Rest Home.
It’s been a long year for Vaughn and so many others who work in senior care facilities, but it seems like things are finally looking up.
“I think we’re on the downhill slide. I think we see the light at the end of the tunnel. You know even CMS is saying now with those that are vaccinated that they could probably be fine to not socially distance from people that they know that have also been vaccinated,” she said.
But just three months ago, the rest home was in a completely different position.
“It’s our staff basically that are doing the one-to-one visits. We’re doing Zoom visits with families,” an emotional Vaughn can be seen in tears during the December 4th weekly Gallatin County health meeting.
Darcel said she was so emotional during that meeting because the effects of the virus were so evident especially at that time.
“The biggest thing is the mental health of our staff and residents, but especially with the residents. I mean we’ve been the family that they couldn’t see other than through a window or a computer screen,” she said.
But now the facility is in a better place.. Even able to accept visitors again soon, and Darcel believes the vaccinations have played a big part in getting them here.
“We’ve had staff and residents that have been asymptomatic and some that you thought were going to be extremely ill. I really think that first vaccination made a difference in how severe it was,” Vaughn said.
Starting Friday, March 12, family and friends will be able to visit this facility by appointment.