This Florida Woman Got a Job at Her Husband’s Nursing Home So She Could See Him During the Pandemic

Rebecca Norris
Photo credit: Facebook/Rosecastle at Deerwood
Photo credit: Facebook/Rosecastle at Deerwood

From Country Living

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt on visiting hours in nursing homes and other residential care facilities.

  • For one Florida woman, this meant she was unable to see her husband, but she remedied the situation by taking a job as a dishwasher at his nursing home.

After being barred from her husband’s nursing home for 114 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 57-year-old Floridian Mary Daniel was looking for ways to get around the visitor ban. After having little luck, she got a call that a dishwashing job opened at his facility and she eagerly applied in hopes of being reunited with her husband, Steve, of 24 years.

Thankfully, it worked!

"I went to see him every single night, got him ready for bed," Mary told Today. "I went in on March 10 and on March 11, they called and said, 'You can’t come back.' Then, out of the blue two weeks ago, they called and said, 'Do you want a job?' When I found out it was as a dishwasher, I thought, 'Well, okay! I guess I'm a dishwasher now.’ I had to have a background check, a drug test, a COVID test, 20 hours of video training on everything, including infectious diseases. It was 100 percent legit."

While she shared with The Palm Beach Post that she was afraid that Steve, who had been living in the memory care unit with early-onset Alzheimer’s, wouldn’t remember her, she was surprised that he cried and called her by name as soon as he saw her on her first day.

In appreciation of her new job—where she gets to work 90-minute shifts on Thursday and Fridays and see Steve as a result—and not wanting to put members of Steve’s memory care facility at risk, Mary says that she refrains from going anywhere unnecessary and always practices social distancing when she is out.

“When the world is crazy, just to have an hour to sit with him, and talk with him. He’ll lay his head on my shoulder,” Daniel told the outlet. “There’s something that comes with that comfort of just being together."

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