One of the hardest hit during this virus were the assisted living facilities. It was on my mind as I heard so many stories from friends and family regarding the challenge to keep their loved ones in the facilities virus free and still maintain some normalcy in visitation and daily routines.

My mother was a client/resident of Bayside Manor in Keansburg. She was a proud woman that didn’t really look forward to having to go to an assisted living facility. I didn’t blame her as she was a woman that was fiercely independent, enjoyed social gatherings and most importantly loved being around her family.

She’d accompany me on many of my concerts and appearances and loved getting out and being entertained all over the state. But age and failing health left us no choice but to make that decision and mom went willingly to Bayside Manor.

I made the decision to try and place her at Bayside Manor because I knew the Cappadona family who run Bayside very well. They are a terrific family and that’s where I wanted my mom to go. Well she loved it, absolutely loved the camaraderie, the attentive friendly staff, the good food and all the activities made her time there so very special. Mom’s health eventually deteriorated and she was transferred from Bayside to the hospital and eventually hospice were she passed away in April of 2007.

When the virus hit I was thinking of all the fine staff and clients of Bayside Manor. I was wondering how a place that was so “hands on” treated their clients during the virus. How were loved ones going to visit them at Bayside?

I talked to Anthony Cappadona who owns and runs Bayside Manor to see how he was making out. He told me that they only had eight cases of the virus because they acted quickly; they were diligent in cleaning and sanitizing while trying to ease the panic of their clients and maximize their safety.

To maintain that safety they had to close the doors to Bayside Manor for the first time ever. It was tough for people not to interact with their loved ones but the necessity warranted the actions. The eight cases of the contracted virus were quarantined into one wing of the facility and were taken care of by a special staff for that area only.

Bayside is hands on in interacting with its clients and residents so they tried to maintain that by alternating residents in the common entertainment areas. The bottom line is that it was very inconvenient but it worked, no more cases. Visitors are kept at a safe distance, employees come in and out of one door only and there are other many policies that went into effect that are kept from the residents to maintain safety and to keep the doors to Bayside open.

If you have or had a loved one in an assisted living facility during this tough time, my thoughts and heart are with you. I know it’s tough but try to find comfort in knowing there are places like Bayside Manor that are doing amazing things to make life better.