Thanksgiving resembles pre-pandemic at local nursing home, precautions still taken – 6 On Your Side

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Many Idahoans are reconnecting with friends and family this Thanksgiving, after celebrating from a distance last year because of pandemic concerns, including some of Idaho’s most senior residents.

At The Cottages Assisted Living Community in Meridian, visitors are allowed back in the building this Thanksgiving, and residents can spend Thanksgiving away from The Cottages with their families, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a Thanksgiving celebration at The Cottages.

“Of course we’re going to have the traditional holiday affair with turkey and potatoes and all the stuff that they’re used to,” The Cottages Assisted Living Community CEO, Mark Maxfield said. “Some are going home to visit with their families, some are going to have visits here and of course we’re going to dine family-style around the Thanksgiving table.”

The Cottages is still taking precautions with visitors and staff wearing masks and visitors’ temperature taken at the door.

Jim and Irene Eyre spent their first Thanksgiving at the Cottages last year, despite having lived there for eight years.

“Over the years we’ve never spent Thanksgiving here,” Irene said.

That changed last year because of pandemic concerns.

“Oh my goodness last year we just had it here, that’s right. We had good food and everybody was happy even though it was a hard time,” Irene said.

As we reported last year, The Cottages created some new Thanksgiving traditions for the residents last year, including a thankfulness tree, connecting the residents with family by video call and a Thanksgiving dinner at The Cottages.

This year, the Thanksgiving dinner is back and the Eyre’s are mixing old and new traditions.

“We always spent it with our family but it’s later on in the afternoon so we’re eating twice,” Irene said.

They’ll be having a Thanksgiving lunch at The Cottages and a Thanksgiving dinner with family.

“It’s nice we get two Thanksgiving dinners. We’ll be so full,” Irene said.

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