A nursing home in the U.K. has figured out a way for people to get hugs while being restricted from personal contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People in care facilities are perhaps the most affected by the isolation spurred by the attempt to stop the spread of the deadly virus. They are often quarantined inside, some having to stay in their rooms and away from others completely. Their only joys may be coming from seeing their caretakers in person. Families haven’t been allowed in most facilities since the pandemic began in March.
The Hallamshire Care Home in the U.K. is doing what it can to support its residents and get them the emotional support they need. The home created visitation nooks with “hugging mitts” so that visitors may put their arms inside and hug or touch their loved ones who must be kept safe from the outside germs. You can see how it works in this photo they posted to Facebook. It’s brilliant!
There have been a lot of visitors connecting in the nooks to visit residents, and the home has been sharing a lot of delightful photos of the mitts.
“Our nook gets steam sanitized after every visit, and disposable gloves are used inside the mitts,” the care facility posted on Facebook.
You can really see the joy in the faces of both the visitors and the residents!
Nursing home visitation has been a highly debated issue throughout the pandemic as many people feel the mental health of their loved ones is at stake without visits. But the virus is deadly to the elderly, who often have underlying health conditions . Health care officials are caught in the middle, trying to protect their physical health and keep them safe.
That’s why care facilities are getting creative and trying to make physical visits to happen.
The Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center in Sheridan, Montana, built a visitation box that allows folks to sit closer than they normally could. And Brandon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in Roanoke, Virginia, posted a photo of their booth, which is similar to the one at Hallamshire — it uses plastic disposable gloves to allow for hugging and touching through a barrier.
If this all sounds familiar to you, that might be because a 10-year-old girl in California created a “hugging curtain” this spring so she could have physical contact with her grandparents again. Her clever idea — which used a shower curtain, hot glue and disposable gloves — seems to have caught on!
Psychology Today says the lack of physical touch can bring great sadness. We are social beings who need touch! Video chats can even make us feel more isolated, because they emphasize just how apart we are.
Cheers to the nursing homes working to keep their residents as healthy and happy as possible by providing physical space for visits!