NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The state announced on Thursday that it would relax visitation requirements at long-term care facilities on Oct. 1.

This was music to the ears to those with loved ones currently in nursing homes.

"You know, the first month I understood. The second month I started to wonder, six months later these people haven't seen their loved ones," said Gayla Pugh.

Pugh is completely reasonable and understands rules and safety.

Like any daughter, she loves her 93-year-old father, but still can't visit him at his assisted living home.

"I haven't seen my dad in six months. My dad hasn't had a haircut in six months. My dad has not seen where my mother is buried, he's not seen it," said Pugh. "We had her service and the next day he was in shut down."

Since March, so many have felt the frustration. Lonely visits of love ones always separated by glass. At one senior residence, Tennessee walking horses came to say hey - or neigh - proving the dire need for any visitation.

Pugh's dad Ray served his country in World War II, and his daughter wonders if he's being served.

"My dad fought for the people who are making this decision," she said. "He fought for their freedom and they've taken his freedom away."

He's stuck there and waiting.

"I just want to see my dad," said Pugh.

The state announced Thursday afternoon it will make visits available again at long-term facilities beginning Oct. 1.

Pugh said she has chill bumps and happy tears after the announcement.


Feature Reporter

Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990. Contact Terry if you have an interesting community story for him to cover.

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