July 3, 2020

Leavitt Family Jewish Home – Outdoor Visits by Family and Friends Bring Great Joy

Sandy Novitch enjoys a visit from daughter Debbie Novitch and husband Wayne in a courtyard at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home.

LONGMEADOW, Mass. – “It is wonderful to see my children, they are the love of my life!” exclaimed Sandy Novitch, a resident at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. Debbie and Wayne brought flowers and chocolates and the family exchanged air hugs and kisses. “One day we are going to hug!” smiled Sandy.

There is a sense of resilience and patience that you witness when seeing families finally coming together for personal visits. The separation during the height of COVID-19 was difficult.  But the necessity for separation was understood and respected.  Family/friend visitations have now entered their fourth week, and the sense of relief and joy is overwhelming.

During the Covid quarantine Debbie was not able to see her mom until she was moved to a room with an accessible window, where visits took place through the glass. “I would call 2-3 times a day, as my Mom would not answer the phone. Everyone was wonderful, from the phone receptionists to the CNA’s to the nursing staff. The care is quite remarkable,” commented Debbie. “The fact that she survived is remarkable. I think the pivotal event was when they allowed me to come in, all suited up with PPE, and visit with her for an hour when she was about 2 weeks into the virus. It lifted her spirits. I think it lifted staff spirits as well, to see a family together.”

Candy Weiner and mom Sandy Greenberg enjoy a visit!

Candy Weiner’s mom, Sandra Greenberg, suffers from dementia and was COVID-19 positive. “I was accustomed to seeing my Mom every day, so when COVID-19 hit, not seeing her was very hard. During the shutdown it was hard to keep in touch. Delilah (Jones of the JNH Life Enrichment staff) set up FaceTime visits a couple of times. It gave me great peace of mind to be able to see her, but it was actually confusing for my mom. When family visitation opened I signed right up. On our first personal visit she didn’t know me, but during our last visit she was awake and alert. It is a real joy to be able to see her again and see her healthy and on the other side of COVID-19!”

Resident Thelma Emery visited by longtime friend Patricia Semb. Patricia’s happy smiling mask says it all!

This week family/friend visits have been relocated to the front of the Home, amidst the gardens. It is a reprieve from the constant hum of the generator and watching the birds on the feeders lifts spirits and makes great conversation. Families/friends can schedule visits once a week, and up to two visitors may attend at a time.

“As Massachusetts continues to phase its relaxation of restrictions, we continue to implement our own plans for safely allowing residents to leave their rooms, as well as permitting family and friend to visit, while maintaining strict protocols for infection control and resident safety,” commented Robert Whitten, Administrator of The Leavitt Family Jewish Home. “These plans could change at any time depending upon how things progress, but we remain hopeful for continued progress, and more happy smiles and virtual hugs!”

Family/friend visits move to courtyard in front of The Leavitt Family Jewish Home.

About Leavitt Family Jewish Home

The Leavitt Family Jewish Home offers 24/7 long-term skilled nursing care including cognitive and memory impairment care, as well as full service rehabilitation therapies , palliative and hospice care, and certified music therapy.  People of all faiths put their trust in the Leavitt Family Jewish Home.  Resident-focused services are provided in a setting that is as home-like as possible, including 112 private rooms, spacious social areas and inviting dining spaces. Staff prioritizes every resident’s adjustment to illness or injury and design services to meet every resident’s individual needs.  Patients’ families are also part of every comprehensive care plan, receiving support and counseling to make a smooth adjustment to care. For more information, call The Leavitt Family Jewish Home at 413-567-6211 or visit jgslifecare.org.

About JGS Lifecare

JGS Lifecare is a leading health care system serving seniors and their families. JGS Lifecare services include nursing home care (The Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home), rehabilitation services (Sosin Center for Rehabilitation), assisted living (Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence), home health and hospice care (Spectrum Home Health & Hospice), adult day health care (Wernick Adult Day Health Care), independent living (Genesis Lifecare) and palliative care (Francis B. Cohen Palliative Care Progra). For more information, call JGS Lifecare at 413-567-6211 or visit JGSLIfecare.org.