Touching photos show families visiting senior homes amid COVID-19 isolations

Nick Natario Image
Thursday, March 19, 2020
How to get face-to-face interaction with your senior loved one during the coronavirus outbreak
HOW SWEET: Families visit their loved ones who are isolated in senior homes through windows and video chat.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The deadly Coronavirus outbreak has cut off visitors to senior living facilities, but it doesn't mean residents aren't seeing familiar faces.

Joyce Herrmann and her son, Ricky, spent time with their 91-year-old loved one from outside her nursing room window.

"It was a relief, and it was a relief to see the people in there who care for her," Herrmann explained.

Heartis Senior Living isn't only letting families see residents' faces through the window, but they're also turning into tech centers, with smart devices that allow video chats.

"It's a learning experience for us all," Heartis Senior Living Clear Lake executive director, Rhonda Leaks explained.

SEE ALSO: Woman announces engagement to grandpa through his nursing home window

If your loved one is in a facility, Leaks said to call the director or activities director to see if there are video chats set-up.

The senior living facility said the technology helps, but their residents could use even more interaction.

Since people can't go inside, they're encouraging everyone to get involved.

"We're asking for kids at home, who might be running out of activities and things to do. Our residents would love pen pals," Leaks said. "So, we're asking you to write letters, send them pictures that you've drawn."

They aren't alone. Other nursing homes told ABC13, including HMG Healthcare, which operates 11 nursing homes in the Houston area, their residents would love letters.

It's a small gesture that could go a long way with many of our seniors now living in isolation.

"It was just the comfort of seeing each other, and I'm glad she's doing okay," Herrmann said.

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