Love conquers distancing

by Mary Helen Darah

Phyllis Diamond, a resident of Kingston Care Center in
Sylvania, looks forward to virtual and distanced
visits from family.

Kingston Care of Sylvania resident Phyllis Diamond has greatly felt the effects of the pandemic but is finding that love conquers all, even forced distancing. The 95-year-old is keeping in touch with her family in creative ways thanks to the supportive staff at Kingston.
Diamond has a granddaughter living in Israel and a son and daughter-in-law living in Houston, Texas. “Israel has a seven-hour time difference,” stated Diamond. “I am able to Skype with my granddaughter and I actually find that I am talking with her more now than ever. I talk with my family in Texas on the phone, but it’s so much better when we can visit with each other in person.”
The personal visits were not possible until recently. “We have to chat through a closed window due to government restrictions but we are allowed scheduled, outdoor, distanced visits,” stated Diamond. “Yet our guests are not allowed to eat, drink, or give us gifts or food.”
Family visits are not the only change that has occurred during the virus. “I like to socialize,” said Diamond. “Before the virus we could sit together and visit in the common area and participate in activities. We would sit together at meals. One of my favorite things I like to do is sit on the benches outside and talk. Now we are no longer allowed to congregate there. We are finally allowed to go to the dining room but there is only one person allowed at a table.”
Diamond is staying positive even though the restrictions are limiting her social life. The nonagenarian celebrated her birthday in June during the pandemic and made the best of the situation. “People from our temple came by to say ‘happy birthday’ and I was able to chat with them through the window and then they had cupcakes,” said Diamond. “We are finally able to have some activities as well. I am looking forward to chair volleyball. It will be safe because we will be distanced. They will also have Bingo, but I fall asleep during that game. I like action.”
Daughter-in-law Debbie Beren Diamond from Texas was in town to visit her mother-in-law. “We get here about 4-5 times a year,” she said. “The Kingston team here is great. If we need anything they are there to help. We are thankful we can have time together outside. There is a beautiful courtyard as well as tents set up for visitation. We have five living parents ranging from age 84 to 95. Phyllis is the one I worry about the least.”
Diamond hopes that the virus can be contained soon so she can get back to visiting friends and perfecting her chair volleyball game without the hindrance of social distancing. “We are all doing our best during this tough time,” she stated. “The staff takes very good care of us which really helps in keeping our spirits up. They keep finding creative ways to help us stay connected but I am excited for things to get back to normal.”

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