GREAT FALLS — Beehive Homes of Great Falls has been caring for the elderly and those with memory and traumatic brain injury needs since 1999. Due to COVID-19, residents and their families have been separated for months.
The care facilities have not been open to visitors since the start of the pandemic in March. When holidays roll around Beehive normally has special celebrations for residents and their families. Now to keep COVID out of the homes residents and their families will be separated on Valentine’s Day.
“Historically our celebrations of holidays have been very festive where families are able to come in and have a great time with their loved ones. Now that the virus has been here it has been very festive parties bu the most important part of it has been left out. They’re [family members] not able to come in which has been very difficult on families. Very difficult on residents,” said Beehive Homes owner Michael Kingsley.
“It’s hard and sometimes it’s to the point where like she’ll call me and say I just want to go home, I want to go back to Billings. 'Can’t I just come live with you?', and I’m like, 'You can’t because I work full-time,' and I have to look to these folks to make sure she’s safe. That she doesn’t just walk out. She’s got a traumatic brain injury and if she was to walk out in the snow right now she could freeze to death because she might end up at another house or something and it’s been a lot different. I couldn’t just hug her or something like that. I just have to tell her I love her,” said family member Stacy Dempsey who took her sister to Beehive in December.
The care centers plan to re-open visitation on March 22nd. Beehive homes currently operate seven care facilities. A new facility for memory care will open on February 22nd.