DEAR CAROL: My mother is in a nursing home because of mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease and severe arthritis. While I live at a distance, my sister, Marie, lives near mom and visits several times a week. Now, with this flu outbreak, the nursing home where my mother lives has isolated residents and is not allowing visitors. Marie says Mom is very upset. Mom understands when Marie tells her on the phone why she can’t visit, but then Mom quickly forgets and calls wondering why my Marie’s not there. What can we do to make Mom feel better? - Gale
DEAR GALE: Because most long-term facilities encourage flu shots for their residents, the typical flu season generally passes without a lot of problems. However, once in a while we have a very bad year. Since it’s the responsibility of the facilities to protect their residents, even at the cost of some emotional distress like that of your Mom, visitors aren’t allowed for a time. This is one of those years.