Ask Gabby Gayle


By Gayle Lagman-Creswick

Dear Gabby Gayle: My mom lives in an Assisted Living Community. It has been a wonderful living arrangement. We have a loving and engaged family and visited her often and took her out often. The community just announced that a few employees have been diagnosed with Covid-19. Now we cannot visit her. She cannot leave her apartment, and I am living in mortal fear that she will catch the dreaded virus. She cannot even see her husband! We feel helpless. I remember that you were in the retirement business before you retired. Any suggestions? Signed, Fearful

Dear Fearful: I empathize with you. I have three close friends in facilities and all have the virus in their residences. One of my friends cannot see her husband, and tells me that she would rather die than be without him. The loneliness of not seeing loved ones is painful to both the resident and the loved one. I have a couple of suggestions. First, find out if someone on the staff could FaceTime or Zoom from your parents room to loved ones. Some places are doing this from their activity department on a regular basis. The only other thing I can suggest is if the resident has a spouse, the husband move in with his wife for a few months, until this pandemic is over. Good communities should be providing activities by way of the television – such as exercise, counseling, games, and a way for residents to voice their concerns to management. If this is not provided, please talk to the administrator to see if these things can be provided. The pandemic has caught us all off guard and unprepared. This has placed a huge strain on long term care residences. They have become short-staffed, illness has struck even the administrators, they have had to procure Personal Protective Equipment and teach the staff how to use it, and establish a method of testing the staff and residents. Sending prayers! GG


Dear Gabby Gayle: I am a 60 year-old gay woman. I have had a significant relationship for 20 years with another woman. We do not live together because we are both professionals and have been afraid it would damage our status at work. Everyone, including our families, thinks we are just friends. Now that I am 60 and she is 65, we are rethinking living together. I am not divulging our professions for obvious reasons. Do you have any advice for us? Signed, In the Closet

Dear Closet: I realize that twenty years ago it was a different world for all LGBTQ persons. However, this is 2020, and I cannot imagine denying yourselves the joy of living together, no matter what your profession. As for family, (they probably already suspect and they don’t care. It is not the business of your workplace to know what you do with your personal life, and you are not obligated to tell them, except to change your address or if you marry, etc. I am an advocate of separating work and home. You have wasted 20 years! Please enjoy the home stretch of your lives. GG


Dear Gabby Gayle: I am 55 years old and lost my job of 25 years due to the pandemic. First, I was laid off. Then they sent me a letter and said they were not replacing my position. Thank you for 25 years, huh? I believe some companies are using the pandemic to reconfigure their staff to save them money. Nevertheless, I am having trouble even getting an interview. When I got this job, I filled out an application and I either got called for an interview or I went on to the next. Nowadays, it is lengthy online applications, and you don’t even get a chance for an interview. I think they see my age and think “No way”, and there is not a darned thing I can do about it. Any suggestions? Signed, Jobless

Dear Jobless: You have joined a huge group of the formerly employed in our society! First, try applying for jobs within your area of expertise. Then, do not give up. Patience. We have to play the cards we are dealt! Good luck, GG


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