Massachusetts recently became the first state to allow socially distant visitations at nursing homes.
On June 5, 2020, Life Care Center of Auburn held a welcome-back parade for residents’ family members. Residents went outside and were spaced six feet apart from each other to watch their loved ones drive around the building. Some families used clappers or waved pom-poms, while others just waved and cheered.
A resident’s daughter said, “I thought the clappers and pom-poms were fantastic! My mother looked wonderful. I was so happy to see her look so good.”
About 50 cars came through and drove around twice. The facility played several songs for the occasion, kicking off the parade with “Welcome Back” from the TV show “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Other songs throughout the parade included “We Are Family” and “You Are My Sunshine.”
“There were plenty of smiles and tears of joy,” said Carrie Cross, admissions and marketing director. “Staff members were overwhelmed at having the families back also. The families are a big part of our everyday life also, so we have missed them too. It was so emotional to see the residents light up as they realized it was their family member waving at them.”
One resident shared, “My wife is so beautiful I wanted to go right up to her car and give her a kiss, but they wouldn’t let me.”
Another resident’s daughter added, “It was so wonderful to finally get to see Mom today. Her smile was amazing.”
Associates also handed out the new visitation guidelines as the families drove through. Those include (among other guidelines) being outside, staying at least six feet apart, having a maximum of two visitors at a time, limiting visitors to those 18 years old or older and not bringing pets.