Jonesboro nursing facility resident hopeful she’ll see family soon

Updated: Jul. 3, 2020 at 7:18 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - For many families, the countdown has been on since June, when the governor announced nursing facilities could open their doors to visitors on July 1, if they met state guidelines.

And many like, Bessie McEntire’s family, are still waiting for their facility to be approved.

“It would be better if they could open the doors and we could go outside or our family could come in, but we understand,” McEntire said.

McEntire is a 97-year-old resident at Ridgecrest Health and Rehabilitation.

A Walnut Ridge native, she’s been living at the facility since 2014.

While she says she understands the reason for the tight COVID-19 restrictions, she frequently sits in the lobby and talks to her family through the window to feel some kind of normalcy.

“It’s different when you’re not with them,” McEntire said.

She’s waiting on the day they can reunite. She listens for any and all updates by Governor Asa Hutchinson. However, the facility McEntire is staying in has not been approved quite yet.

And that’s been hard for those on both sides.

“I’m telling her you’re not going to get to see me today. I can come but you’re not going to get to come out and I can’t come in. She kinda lost that hope and started crying,” McEntire’s daughter, Lesa Dacus, said.

Dacus has been trying to not only cope with how she feels about this all, but also keep her mom in good spirits.

“She is my everything. She does my hair and she does my nails. She’s just my everything and I miss that,” McEntire said.

McEntire reminisces on the good times, with hopes more can be created.

But her daughter, just like millions around the nation, are waiting on the day to kiss and touch on their loved one again.

In the meantime, working hard to keep hope alive.

“You know it’s going to happen, we are going to be able to see each other and that’s what I have to keep projecting to her for her not to lose that hope of ‘I’m not going to be able to be with you again,” Dacus said.

McEntire says she’s being treated well, calling all of the residents and staff “her family”. However, she added that she’s ready for this all to be over.

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