For the past several years, every Saturday, Janie Kasse has gone to the assisted living facility where her mom lives and has taken her mom out for a day of eating and shopping.
Kasse, 44, of New Albany, Indiana, also visits her mom Carol Chesser, 65, several times during the week at Windsor Ridge Assisted Living in nearby Jeffersonville, Indiana.
So when the assisted living facility had to close its doors to visitors earlier this month due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kasse feared how her mom would handle the change.
"She definitely knows who I am and knows my name for sure, but everyone else there, she could not tell them their name," Kasse told "Good Morning America." "She does not know people she sees every day."
Chesser suffered a traumatic brain injury in a near-deadly car accident on New Year's Eve in 1976, when Kasse was just 16-months-old. Chesser learned how to speak and walk again after the injury, but she does not know how to read or write and lacks memory skills, according to Kasse.
When Windsor Ridge placed further restrictions on its residents to protect them -- requiring them to stay in their rooms unless accompanied by a staff member -- Kasse heard from her mom's nurses that she was having a hard time with the changes.
"She's incredibly social," Kasse said of Chesser. "She was getting really moody and angry and depressed, but the staff would tell me that if my mom talked to me on the phone she was happier and she would listen to me."
Kasse asked a Windsor Ridge official if she could join the assisted living facility as a volunteer so that she could see her mom. With volunteers also blocked from the facility, the official gave Kasse another option.
"She said she had a job opening for a hospitality aide and would that be something I was interested in," recalled Kasse. "I said yes. There really wasn’t an option."
Kasse, who already works two jobs as an office manager at a financial services firm and as an events coordinator for a local nonprofit organization, now also works 15 to 30 hours a week at Windsor Ridge.
"I deliver meals and I play games with the residents," she said. "One of the residents asked me what I do there and I said, ‘I bring dinner and joy.' Basically anything they ask me to do, I do."
Three days a week, Kasse works her day job until 4 p.m. and then heads to Windsor Ridge, where she works until 8:30 or 9 p.m., then visits with her mom in her room. She also works at least one shift over the weekend.
"To see her energy deplete right before your eyes is heartbreaking," she said. "I keep telling mom that we just want her to be alive at the end of this thing and then we can go shopping and can go and eat wherever she wants."
"I try really hard to make sure she knows I’m there and knows that I’m not going anywhere and knows that when all of this is said and done, we’ll do our shopping trips again," Kasse said.
Because Kasse was such a frequent visitor to Windsor Ridge for so many years, she has been a welcome sight in uncertain times for the other residents as well, according to Melissa Prenatt, Windsor Ridge's administrator-in-training.
"She’s got such a bubbly personality, and that’s very comforting to other residents, to see her and be around her," Prenatt told "GMA." "It's made a world of difference to have Janie here."
"She’s doing a lot of one-on-one games with the residents that are keeping them active," she added. "If she’s delivering a tray or something for dinner and she sees one is kind of down, she’ll go back after dinner and ask if they want to take a walk."
Kasse said she has witnessed the time and energy employees like Prenatt put into their jobs as they try to protect residents from contracting coronavirus. All staff members, including Kasse, have their temperatures checked before each shift.
Kasse is also working from home for her other jobs and limiting her exposure to only her home and Windsor Ridge in order to protect herself and the residents.
"The staff there are working so hard," Kasse said. "I’m just amazed by the amount of love and care and concern and how many hours they’re working to keep everybody alive."