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SHREVEPORT, La. - Some good news during the pandemic. An assisted living facility has opened its windows so family members can visit residents.

After months of separation, residents at the Oaks of Louisiana can now see their children, grandchildren, and any other family member, but it's through a window.

The Health Center at Live Oak and Savannah at The Oaks are still not allowing visitors inside as they are still following state orders and CDC recommendations. However, with an appointment and a mask, visitors can visit outside.

Windows are marked with room numbers so family members can know which window to visit. Residents say they were thrilled to see their family for the first about three months.

"For the first time, we got to be close to our family," said resident Lillian Kendrick. "I was very fortunate to have a son and daughter-in-law that live here. We've been talking on the phone and we've been on iPad and emails and pictures and things like that, but it's real good to be with them."

"I have missed them so because they mean so much to my life," said another resident Jim Gibson. "I'm an old-time hugger! My daughter and my granddaughter and most of the people that know me recognize the relationship I have with my family."

Family members say they've been able to virtually visit via FaceTime, but nothing is like seeing them in person.

"It's great to see him," said Cindy Griffin, referring to Gibson, who is her father. "I'd like to pull him out of this window, though, to be able to just touch him. So, it's been a long time. Of course, we FaceTime each other and we talk every day, but it's still not the same as us getting together and being able to share that quality time"

The facility's administrator, Randall Meyers, says keeping the residents healthy physically and mentally is a priority.

"At this point, we don't know when the restrictions are going to be lifted by LDH," Meyers said. "We want to do everything we can to promote psycho-social health for our residents. It's very important. We know the body follows the mind and the happier we can keep our through the connectivity with their loved ones and families, the happier and healthier they're going to be overall."

The Oaks has been closed to visitors since March 12.

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