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Families Eager for Children to Visit Grandparents in Long-Term Care

Gov. Ron DeSantis further expanded long-term care visitation last week, including the age limit for visitors.

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Under the new order, children under the age of 18 can be allowed in.  

For the family of Fara Anne Harkey, it’s welcome news. Her daughter Grace Page said the 86-year-old is a proud grandmother and great grandmother.

“Very much involved in their lives,” Page said. “And always wanting to be at every holiday, every event.”

The family calls Harkey “Maw-Maw” and for awhile, Page said they were bringing the children to visit through the nursing home window or over FaceTime. 

“As time has gone on, I’ve not even been doing that as much,” Page said.  “Because you can tell that all she feels is that longing to touch them.”

Which is why Page feels the visitation expansion is a welcome relief.

“I think it’s time.  I think she’s yearning for the rest of the family,” Page said.

But nothing has been scheduled just yet. Page said her mother’s nursing home wants clarification from AHCA, as once again facilities struggle to interpret the latest visitation order.

“At the end of the day, I just want to be a family again,” Page said.

Further guidance from AHCA on the new order is expected in the coming days.

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