Father's Day celebrated from a distance - FOX34 Lubbock

Father's Day celebrated from a distance

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Johnny Mendoza, talks to his father, on the phone outside his room at The Plaza Johnny Mendoza, talks to his father, on the phone outside his room at The Plaza
LUBBOCK, Texas -



This Father's Day, things are different, as the state's order on nursing homes and assisted living facilities remains in effect.

With a cellphone or a white board families made do, to still celebrate together, despite being separated by glass. 

"You can tell a lot of them miss their family, just by some of their behavior, you know," Zyarika Mckinzie, a nurse's aid at The Plaza at Lubbock, said. 

The state, shut down visitation to senior living facilities in March. Meaning, no one in and no one out. 

"It's been hectic, but we get through it, you know, we make ways to get through it, and we try tobe there for them," Mckinzie said. 

"I'm here today to visit my father, that's been in the rehab center here, for the past, almost 3 weeks now," Johnny Mendoza said. 

This is not how he imagined the day would be spent with his dad. 

Mendoza's father is currently recovering from open heart surgery.

"When I get here, I visit him at the window, and I'll just call him on my phone, we just kind of "speaker talk" to each other, as if it's an intercom system," Mendoza said. 

He makes an effort to see him everyday, but especially for Father's Day.

Signs made by the grandkids hang up, facing the window, so he can see. 

"I'm sure he felt pretty happy about it. We got him some gifts, and we told him we would hold on to them until he gets home and he can have those. As a 'welcome home' and 'Fathers Day', and everything all at once," Mendoza said.

The Plaza at Lubbock has a combination of permanent and temporary residents. For some undergoing rehab, they could leave and be with their families as soon as this week.

The governor is expected make an announcement soon, on nursing home and assisted living facilities.  For now, it's on the nurses and staff, to keep the residents safe and happy. 

"You just try to be there for them the best you can. It's nothing like family, you can't be their family, but you just try to love them as if you were their family," Mckinzie said. 

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