SCIOTO — For beloved former Minford and Portsmouth teacher Linda Bender, COVID-19 created many obstacles for her journey to returning home during the pandemic.
COVID-19 had a huge impact on everyone in 2020, especially nursing facilities such as Ayden Healthcare of Rosemount Pavilion. Bender’s daughter, Sarah Blevings, and her family moved back to Scioto County in February 2020. The plan was to move Bender back with them and find a facility that could meet her needs, but the shutdown of COVID hindered their plans.
“We knew moving mom was going to be hard due to her health but didn’t realize how much harder it would be because of COVID,” Blevings said.
Bender’s daughter last saw her mother Feb. 26, 2020, before her heading back to Ohio. Bender’s previous facility had locked down shortly after Blevings left to return to Ohio and the chaos of a new virus became very evident. Blevings wanted to get her mother closer to her and her two small children, Bo and Olivia, so she began to look at facilities and found Ayden Healthcare of Rosemount Pavilion.
“My husband, kids and I moved at the end of February 2020 and had told mom to give us a month to get ourselves settled and then we would move her,” Blevings said. “Then the world shut down two weeks later.”
While trying to facilitate a move, Bender contracted COVID in her nursing facility in Tennessee and needed to fully recover before making the several hours long trip back to her prior home in Scioto County.
“Week after week would pass and at times, it felt like we would never get her moved. She ended up getting COVID over the summer and after she recovered my husband, and I knew we needed to get her moved while she was still in her “immune” period,” Blevings said.
On Feb. 25, 2021, just one day shy of one year, Blevings was finally able to spend time with her mother face to face in a reunion that was special for both mother and daughter. Ayden Healthcare of Rosemount Pavilion has completed three clinics that have allowed residents and staff to get their vaccines, so visitations are able to begin again for residents and families like Blevings and Bender.
“Preparing for the move was very stressful, but we are thankful for the staff at NHC Pulaski, Ayden Healthcare and King’s Daughters for working together and making the transition smooth for mom,” Blevings said.
Blevings also shared how thankful she and her family were for the community that helped cover her mother’s transportation costs back to Scioto County.
“It was so great to be able to see each other again. Of course, there were tears of joy, but the only visitation we could have was through a window. Months passed of window visiting, in the rain, cold and snow and now we can finally visit in person with guidelines set by the state and nursing home. We are very thankful for these visits and finally feel more settled and as normal as we can feel right now.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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