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Alone for the holidays; Health care center residents won't have visitors

Posted at 2:34 PM, Nov 13, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Thanksgiving is truly one of our treasured days on the calendar. Football, parades, family gatherings and of course, sitting around the table for that big meal. Inside facilties such as Lexington's Sayre Christian Village, no one will be around to pass the stuffing.

"Right now we have to make these hard sacrifices," said Sayre Christian CEO Karen Venis.

Venis said there's an outbreak of COVID-19 in her health care building (the facility has three different residential areas), and she cannot take the risk of having guests inside.

"We realize this could be any of our last Thanksgiving," Venis said when asked how difficult it is to make a decision like this.

Venis says the virtual visits between residents and their family members will continue as much as they'd like, and a big Thanksgiving meal will be on the burners, even if it has to be eaten in virtual solitude.

"We've got a chef here who will do a great job making Thanksgiving dinner," which will include all of the trimmings, she said. "We're going to have Thanksgiving here the way a lot of people are going to in their homes."

She makes a good point, because her residents are not alone in the fight against coronavirus. We're all going to be altering plans, or not making them at all, so it's not as if Venis' residents are going to miss the big party.

Venis said family members have been completely cooperative and understanding of the policy, even telling their loved-ones about it before Karen and her staff get a chance to do it themselves.

For herself, Karen has to leave emotion in the parking lot, before walking inside, and that takes a toll as well.

"It certainly does, but I'm very proud of our staff. They've been handed a lot of grief, a lot of stress and a lot of pressure to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep everyone safe," she said.

And the pressure to keep everyone alive, so that this isn't their last Thanksgiving,