Local families find unique ways to visit nursing home residents

Coronavirus

(WIVB)–Residents quarantined in nursing homes across the country are experiencing loneliness during this uncertain time.

Most if not all visitors are banned locally across Western New York.

But facilities in our area are working to connect people.

“It’s tough on my husband… because it is his mom. But we’re dealing with it. I mean it’s something that has to be done but it is tough,” said Linda Rongo.

Linda’s almost 97-year-old mother-in-law Laverne is a resident at Elderwood at Lockport.

She’s hard of hearing.

Since the quarantine rules went into place, Linda and her family haven’t really been able to communicate with Laverne.

“She’s not always hearing what we’re telling her so it has been touch not being able to be in touch with her. You want to see her, you want to know how she’s doing, how she’s feeling — you really can’t get that,” said Rongo.

Nursing homes in our area are making changes to ensure people can still have contact with their families.

Catholic Health purchased iPads for 5 of its facilities, so residents can connect by video call with their family and friends.

Across the nation, images of people standing outside the windows at nursing homes are going viral.

“I think he’s right here now in the chair,” said a mother in Florida, who had to display her love through the glass.

In Massachusetts, a large crowd gathered to sing “Happy birthday” to 100-year-old Millie.

Linda and her family plan to do the same on Thursday.

March 19th marks Laverne’s 97th birthday.

They’re planning to drop off some party favors at the front door, including a cupcake.

“I’m hoping we can sneak around to the back and they can bring her to the window so at least we can see her,” said Laverne.

They want her to know she’s not alone.

We’re all in this together.

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