N.S. nursing home residents can now take day trips with family members
GLACE BAY, N.S. -- For the first time since mid-March, residents in long-term care facilities will be allowed to take day trips with family.
While it's a new measure of freedom, some families feel there's a fine line between loosening restrictions and letting their guard down.
Ninety-five-year-old Greg MacNeil was taking in the sunshine on Monday with his daughter.
He's looking forward to the loosening of restrictions at his nursing home in Glace Bay, N.S.
"It means everything to me," MacNeil said. "I have to get used to it. I'm sort of like a prisoner with a little bit of time off."
MacNeil is now allowed to leave his long-term care facility for the first time since mid-March, after the latest easing of restrictions by the Nova Scotia government.
Families can now enjoy off-site day visits together.
Monica MacNeil plans to take her father out for a drive -- and for coffee.
"Oh, it's awesome," said Monica MacNeil. "I know he wanted to get out of that room. I'm taking him to Tim Hortons to get his coffee and talk to all the old people that are up there."
COVID-19 has complicated visits for many.
In May, the only way MacNeil could see her father was through a glass window.
Now she's allowed inside at the Taigh Na Mara Nursing Home for one hour.
"They're very strict," Monica MacNeil said. "You have to have your mask on, you have to sign in. They take your temperature every morning. You can't just walk in the doors like you use to be able to do."
MacNeil says she admits she's happy to be able to finally hug her father, but knows there's a fine line between loosening restrictions and letting your guard down.
MacNeil is a veteran who has served his country, and has seen a lot, but he says the pandemic has been like living through a war -- an experience he wants to be over soon.
"We still got the mask on," Greg MacNeil said. "I'm just waiting for the day when they call it all off, but I imagine that's quite a bit in the future."
But it's a future that still remains uncertain.