Larry LePage, 82, wants to visit his wife in her Pompano Beach nursing home, brush her teeth for her and clip her nails. Since Mary had a stroke in January, she can’t do those basic hygiene tasks for herself, and LePage is certain they are not being done. In fact, he worries she may not even be getting out of bed.
“I can’t get in there and check,” he said.
Since mid-March, with the spread of the new coronavirus, Florida’s elder care facilities have been on virtual lockdown, the result of an executive order by the governor. For LePage the separation from his wife — who can’t talk or walk — is excruciating. “I just want to see that she is cared for,” he said.
LePage may be able to visit his wife of 43 years in person before the end of the month. Florida’s Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities hammered out language on Wednesday that would lift the ban on visitors, allowing in essential caregivers like LePage who help with some aspect of a resident’s daily living. Whatever requirements the task force sets to visit his wife, he will abide.