Ada Jackman, a 63-year-old resident at Rivergate Terrace in Riverview, Michigan, was one of the residents diagnosed with COVID-19 at the facility from March through July.
Ada has been a resident at Rivergate Terrace since Feb. 13, 2020, and, shortly after her admission, the first COVID-positive case at the facility was confirmed on March 25.
There are multiple signs and symptoms of the virus, but each case varies. Ada had flu-like symptoms and noticed something was off when her fever spiked and she began hallucinating. On April 16, Ada had an elevated temperature, and she was sent to the hospital the next day. She returned to the facility on May 5 with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and was placed in the facility’s COVID unit for further supervision. Much like Ada, many residents at skilled nursing facilities have felt the all-consuming loneliness that accompanies the virus.
“I was isolated for over a month,” says Ada. “I was very lonely because I could not see my family. No matter how lonely you get, you must stay isolated until you get the green light that you can go back to your room.”
Although Ada felt secluded from the outside world, she felt leery of leaving her room in fear that her symptoms would worsen or that she would give the virus to someone else. She spent most of her days in isolation watching TV, talking with the staff and completing word searches.
Day-to-day activities changed dramatically in skilled nursing facilities once news broke that COVID-19 was taking lives of precious seniors across the nation. The team at Rivergate Terrace came together to devise a plan that would protect their residents and patients from the life-threatening virus. Sue Chaddha, executive director at Rivergate Terrace, and her team worked day and night to remain up to date on latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continued to enforce infection control protocols, reemphasized the importance and proper use of PPE and reduced outside visitation.
“Before COVID, I went to all the activities,” said Ada. “I did not like being on the COVID unit due to the feelings of isolation. Once I got back to Orange Court and my room, I felt much better. Prayer is what got me through COVID. I'm happy to be alive.”
On May 19, Ada returned to her room after a month of being on the facility’s COVID unit. She has fully recovered from COVID-19 and continues to spend her time completing word searches.
Every day during this pandemic is a journey. It has brought heartache and affliction, but we must also recognize the victories that have taken place in the past nine months. We are grateful for Ada and her success story, along with the other 43 residents and 43 associates from Rivergate Terrace that have recovered from the virus. We are looking forward to the day where we can embrace our loved ones in skilled nursing facilities without fear of COVID-19 harming them.