Woman Takes Dishwasher Job So She Can Visit Her Husband With Alzheimer's
July 13, 2020
The things people do for love.
A Florida woman took a job as a dishwasher at the Florida Memory Care Unit to ensure she could see her husband every day.
Mary Daniel with her husband Steve
Mary Daniel visited her husband Steve, who has Alzheimer's, every day at the assisted living facility until they stopped allowing visitors in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency order kept them apart for 114 days.
Mary said the isolation took a toll on her 66-year-old husband. So when the facility offered a part-time dishwashing job, she jumped at the opportunity.
"I told them, 'I'm gonna be the best dishwasher you've ever had, because I want to be here, because I need to be with him,'" she told CNN.
Before the pandemic, Mary helped her husband get ready for bed every night and they would watch TV together before she tucked him in.
"That was our set routine and then all of a sudden I'm gone," she said. "And he doesn't know why. He can't understand why."
She tried window visits and Facetime, but her husband can't carry on conversations, so it didn't work well for them.
Mary worked her first shift on July 3, and said Steve recognized her, even with her mask on.
"I walked into his room and he said my name, he said Mary, which was also a relief," she said. "So when he said, Mary, and gave me the biggest hug, I mean, we both cried."
Mary said that she understands why the rules are in place, but she thinks there has to be a better way.
"It's incredibly sad to see that these patients are significantly declining because they are isolated," she said. "We are isolating these patients to save them, but the isolation is killing them."
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