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A little face time: Residents find ways to stay in contact with parents at Magnolia Village

NATCHEZ — Older people are more at risk as medical authorities say the symptoms of COVID-19 are more severe for them, so it isn’t surprising that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are strictly limiting visiting at their facilities.

Residents of Magnolia Village Assisted Living Home said that despite the stricter visitation rules and social distancing guidelines in place, they have managed to stay busy and in contact with their families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inside Magnolia Village, residents still have gatherings between smaller groups of residents and they are still practicing social distancing.

Sandra Lang, a 75-year-old resident, said she hasn’t had a problem with living in Magnolia Village during the social distancing of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re kept busy and we play games (like Bingo and Pokeno), watch movies and we have social gatherings,” Lang said. “We can go out on the porch with permission and sit in the sun. We have plenty of residents to keep us company. We’re social distancing, but we’re enjoying each other.”

Ann Johnson, Butch Johnson’s 90-year-old mother, has been reading books inside her room. Ann Johnson said there have been fewer activities with groups since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Butch Johnson said he has stayed in contact with his mother via text and FaceTime.

“We call daily and I text her throughout the day,” Butch Johnson said. “She’s pretty good with information and she’s a huge Facebook fan. That’s how she keeps up with everyone. Facebook is a real positive thing for her.”

Hazel Ferrell, who is the mother of Tommy Ferrell, said she has stayed in contact with her son, Tommy Ferrell, by talking on the phone.

Bruce Ellard, a 93-year-old resident of Magnolia Village, said he watches TV with other residents.

“It’s so confining in here,” Ellard said. “But I’m able to stay in contact with my family on the phone. If they want to visit, then I have to get permission from the staff to let them know.”

With residents in Magnolia Village not able to see their family, Magnolia Village has provided drive-through visits for families to see their loved ones at the front porch of the assisted living home.

The drive-through visits are available from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

During a drive-through visit, Glen Perilloux was able to see Sue Perilloux, his 86-year-old mother. Glen Perilloux said he was able to walk out of the car and talk to Sue, who looked out from her black wheelchair from an opened window inside Magnolia Village.

“I think the drive-through visits are great,” Glen Perilloux said. “It’s a tough time for the residents and for the families. It was good to get there in person and hear her voice. She was able to hear my voice and she lit up with a big smile.”