ILLINOIS — Residents in long-term living facilities have been cut off from visitors since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The residents here at Freeburg Care Center have done a lot of window visits and zoom calls with loved ones. But it has been seven months since they have actually gotten to touch. A hug booth changed that.
There are 95 residents at the Freeburg Care Center. They are one of the only senior centers in Illinois that has not had one resident test positive for covid-19.
Administrator Amy Bonta says health care authorities have started talking about the toll absence is taking on residents. She says the residents and families here have been so understanding and have done such a good job.
They wanted to do something special for them. The staff here at Freeburg made their own hug both. Residents get bundled and masked up and then escorted outside. And then by the booth, family members with long gloves and masks are waiting for their first hug in months.
Bonta says the excitement and emotions from both sides has been overwhelming.
Amy Bonta, Administrator, said, “I had one family member tell me continuously, I am so worried that when I see mom she is not going to remember who I am. Yesterday her mom came out to the hug booth, she looked up, and her daughters name is Lida, and she said Lindy Lindy Lindy and her daughter just lost it and said mom you remembered me. And that was a very special moment and we have had so many moments like that over the past 24 hours
Amy says they don’t know when they are going to bring it out again because it is getting cold but they are going to make it happen somehow.