Family overjoyed to resume in-person visits with elderly mother at nursing home

Coronavirus Update for New York
HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- People in nursing homes have been especially vulnerable and isolated during the pandemic and many have not seen their loved ones in person for months.

Now that New York State has started to allow family visitation again, Eyewitness News is taking a look at how facilities are keeping their residents safe.

There was a special reunion at the Nassau Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Hempstead on Wednesday.

Jocelyn Moor, a 93-year-old resident, got to see her daughter and son-in-law for the first time in months.

And while there was no close contact, and just air hugs, there were moments of tenderness and almost normalcy.

Reinette Krajci moved her mother into the home after she fractured her knee in 2018 -- long before the pandemic.

"I saw my mother every day here and then I couldn't, and it's been stressful, it's been depressing for my mother," Krajci said. "It's been hard."

Fortunately her mother never got COVID-19 and she has now been vaccinated, making visits possible once again.

"It was absolutely wonderful to see them together," her son-in-law Ed Kracji said. "That person-to-person connection is so important, particularly for these older people who have been isolated for so long and it really has a negative effect on their whole outlook and their frame of mind."

The only other in-person visit they've had was about five months ago outside in a courtyard behind the facility.

But the hope is these visits will become more regular - and the nursing home is even providing rapid tests for visitors to ensure everyone is safe.

"The anticipation of seeing their loved ones without a piece of glass, without talking on the phone, is priceless and I think it means the world to them," said Jackie Kreismann with Excelsior Care Group.

"Today was a wonderful, wonderful day," Reinette Krajci said.

And she can't wait for that next visit.

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