As a nurse, Ashley Jacobs has a unique perspective into how one group of Americans are handling the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and self-quarantining. The former Southern Charm girlfriend currently works as a nurse in a skilled nursing facility in California, so she sees how nursing home residents are coping while being quarantined from visitors.
Ashley wrote on Instagram, "We’ve all seen photos on the news of people knocking on nursing home windows, trying to see their elderly family members through the glass barrier. As a fellow nurse working in a skilled nursing facility, what a blessed experience it has been to witness those moments firsthand. I have particularly enjoyed using my phone for FaceTime so my residents can see their loved ones face to face."
She acknowledged that self-quarantining is the right move during the outbreak, but discussed the effects it has on those who are going weeks without seeing family and friends.
"Social distancing is so crucial at this time, but it also exacerbates a known crisis faced by all nursing homes...loneliness," Ashley wrote. "Spouses and children who regularly see their loved ones in the nursing homes have not been able to visit them for the past month and now it could be weeks or even months longer. No volunteers to come see them, no activities, no meals in the dining room etc. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see this isolation lead to loneliness and depression. Nursing home staff have a good amount of practice in safeguarding the health of seniors during an outbreak, however, I have learned that comforting their hearts and spirits is just as crucial. These will be trying times for thousands of seniors and their families. There’s plenty of work left ahead for the rest of us to ensure that our nation’s elderly and most vulnerable are never left feeling abandoned."
Ashley finished her post by giving advice to those who have loved ones in nursing homes: "If you know someone living in a nursing home, whether you’re family or just a friend, FaceTime and Skype are great options if facilities have it set up, but know that the phone is likely the best way to get in touch and still the most cherished form of communication!" she wrote.
Ashley has previously shared a peek into her life as a nurse, sharing that she feels she is in the "best profession in the world" since she is "in the profession of caring for people." She also won an award for her work as a nurse in 2018.
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