Monroe Manor Nursing Home Closed to Visitors

May 19, 2020

The inside glass sliding door of Monroe Manor’s entry vestibule was covered in finger and lip prints on the Monday following Mother’s Day. Glass is as close as the nursing home’s residents and their family members can get since the facility was shuttered to visitors’ March 17 because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Mother’s Day brought dozens of visitors to the Manor, so even though they couldn’t embrace their relative, they could see them, touch the glass that separated them, sometimes kissing the pane, and talking to one another on cell phones.

Mother’s Day isn’t the only time the entryway is used as a temporary visiting site.

“Heartrendingly, visitors come daily to look at their loved ones,” Monroe Manor administrator Shari Embree says. “The front vestibule is the most convenient venue we have where a resident can sit and see their families. People could stand outside individual rooms, but we’re not encouraging that. When they come to the front door, we let them in, and then get their family member.

Monroe Manor, like all Missouri nursing homes is licensed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services [DHSS] and have been closed to visitors for two months.

When will Monroe Manor be welcoming visitors? Ms. Embree is only guessing, like everyone else.

“We’ll open when the state says we can,” the administrator grudgingly admits, “and as much as we and distressed families would prefer, not before. We have no say when the proper authority allows us the privilege to admit visitors.”

Embree says the emotional strain on residents and the families is palpable.

“I see the angst on residents and their family members every day. This quarantine is something I never thought I’d see and probably few ever did, either. Despite the aggravation of the separation, we’re doing everything we can do to keep our residents in touch with their families.”

The Manor has purchased five electronic devices, ipads, that connect residents with their families for face-to-face visits – five more are ordered courtesy of a DHSS grant – and both the facility’s telephone landlines and cell phones are being extensively used, helping to keep families connected.

“I can’t say enough how gracious families have been,” Mrs. Embree said. “I hope they know we’re doing as much as we can to facilitate their seeing their loved ones and keeping our residents safe from this hideous disease, and concurrently, everyone should know the extent our employees have gone to protect and care for our residents. Every employee entering our buildings are checked for temperature and screened for where they’ve been.”

“We are fortunate not to have had a case of this malady in Monroe County,” Mrs. Embree said, “however, now that businesses are beginning to re-open around the state, we at the Manor must remain vigilant and try to keep it from our hallways.”