In The News
April 1, 2020

Families Adjust to Restrictions at Corpus Christi Nursing Homes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Every Lenten season, Fridays are for capirotada, a Mexican bread pudding filled with nuts, cheese and fruit.

Elva Estrada remembers her mother making it, but only during the solemn religious period.

Last Friday, she awoke early and set out to make it. Her mother had just been moved to a nursing home a few weeks earlier from an assisted-living center.

New rules for nursing homes recently put in place aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus mean visitors can only see their loved ones through a closed window.

Homemade capirotada was sure to bring a smile to her mother’s face.












Estrada makes the trek from Calallen to her mother’s nursing home in Portland every other day. Her brother also visits daily. She said it is important to continue to visit however they can, despite the restrictions.

The family’s tradition of bringing a gift with each visit continued Tuesday.

Estrada placed her face close to her mother Rosa Palacios’ room window at Coastal Palms Nursing and Rehabilitation in Portland.

She told her 93-year-old mother she had chocolate chip cookies and a rosary she bought several years ago while visiting Rome.

“She needs to see us, she really does,” Estrada said. “We’re so close to her. She knows we love her and this is one of the ways we show that.

“This keeps her going.”

Some of the nursing home residents don’t understand why their families have stopped visiting. Employees at the center have told her some of the residents are confused and don’t understand the restrictions, Estrada said.

“It’s extremely difficult for me to come and visit with her through the window. I can’t touch her, I can’t hug her, I can’t kiss her. It’s very difficult,” she said.  “It’s hard on us, but it’s harder on them.”

“If you have anybody at the nursing home, if you can, come and see them, even if it’s through the window. But they’ll know that you love them and that’s important.”

The last time Estrada was able to hug and kiss her mother was two weeks ago. But, this week, for the first time since restricted to visits through the window Palacios blew her a kiss.

“You can’t abandon your parents. Love just continues,” Estrada said.

Rachel Denny Clow covers the Corpus Christi community.

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