Wife becomes dishwasher at nursing home to see husband with Alzheimer’s during COVID-19 pandemic

For a period of 114 days, a desperate woman was unable to hug her husband as she was only allowed to see him through a window, due to the threat of COVID-19.

Mary Shannon Daniel’s husband, Steve, is living in the memory care unit of a nursing home and is suffering from Alzheimer’s, First Coast News reported. No one has been allowed to visit him, as per orders by Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, to prevent the possible transmission of the killer virus.

“I told him I’d be there with him, holding his hand,” she told the media outlet. “We tried a window visit. He just cried. You can’t explain it to him.”

Mary was helpless and did not know what to do, but thankfully, her husband’s nursing facility had a great idea and offered her to work as a dishwasher so she could be closer to her dearest.

“I appreciate the opportunity,” she said of her new job.

In a touching social media post, Mary shared a picture of her washing dishes and another of her standing next to her husband.

“After 114 days, I got to hug my husband today,” she wrote. “I also washed a lot of dishes. Proof where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Even though she was concerned her husband would not be able to recognize her after such a long period of separation, the opposite proved true.

“He was teary-eyed,” she said. “He touched my face, even with my mask on … He knew me. He called me Mary.”

After 114 days I got to hug my husband today. I also washed alot of dishes. Proof where there’s a will there’s a way! I love you Steve Daniel! #EndAlz

Posted by Mary Shannon Daniel on Friday, July 3, 2020

However, not everyone has been as lucky as the Daniels family.

With the latest executive order in the state adding two more months to a ban on visiting nursing homes, some people are having to go months without seeing their family members.

To help families affected by this, Mary created a virtual support group on Facebook called “Caregivers for Compromise — because isolation kills too!”

Many people have joined the group to share their own stories of sadness and despair over not being able to see their loved ones.

“My mom has been in a nursing facility after a massive stroke for 14 years, and I visit her every day,” one person said. “I tried one time to sit at her window, and it honestly made the situation worse. Her short-term memory is not good, and every day we repeat the same story about why I haven’t been there to see her.”

Another Facebook user wrote:

 “Yes, I understand how everyone feels because I have had that frustration too. I had to make a huge decision in May. My father was living in a senior independent living apartment while my mother was in assisted living. They lived apart for more than two years. My father visited frequently but when the visits stopped, he went into a downward spiral of depression. I decided to move him to the assisted living facility so he could be with my mom. Both are in their 90s and have been married 69 years. I have been window visiting every other day since March- standing in the dirt, in the shrubs by the window and now in the summer heat too. I am a writer and I wrote a blog piece on this subject. I am posting it here. My mother does not hear well so I stand at the window with an erasable white board and markers. It has become routine.”

And another shared:

“I placed my husband Dennis in memory care in October. He had Alzheimer’s disease. Quarantining was a disaster for him. My kind and loving husband became very agitated and aggressive and declined rapidly.”

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