NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Now to a story you will only see on Western Mass News, with assisted living centers not allowing any visitors right now, people throughout western Mass have been thinking outside the box to find ways to still connect with their loved ones.
With the coronavirus pandemic flipping people’s worlds upside down, Western Mass News spoke with Executive Director Emily Uguccioni at Linda Manor Extended Care Facility and Assisted Living in Northampton about how residents are trying to adjust to this new normal.
"Their entire routine has been completely upended but they have been wonderful and they understand the precautions that were taking to protect their health and safety," Uguccioni explained.
With a no visitor policy in place, residents aren’t able to see family and friends like they normally would.
"Family and friends provide some needed social interaction and a sense of a routine," Uguccioni said.
Family and friends have been connecting with love ones at Linda Manor by waving through the window, using Facetime and Skype, and using email to send pictures back-and-forth.
"It's just really wonderful for both people because even though you can talk to someone on the phone there’s nothing better than seeing someone’s face and their smile and it brightens up people's days. It’s a good substitute until we can have visited again," Uguccioni explained.
And with the country’s older population more at risk of contracting the virus, the staff is doing everything they can to make sure their residents are staying safe.
"There’s a tremendous amount of cleaning that’s going on all day long and all commonly touch services the mailrooms anything of that sort and also our offices and other parts of the building that we commonly would touch or the residents may encounter," Uguccioni said.
But until visitors are welcome inside once again, the staff is asking the community to use the down-time from staying inside to help make someone’s day.
"If you want to send in cards or coloring pages or anything, a craft, that a resident might like they love knowing that people are caring about them and thinking about them," Uguccioni explained.
She said parents can even set their children up with a resident in a pen pal program.
It practices writing for the child while leaving the resident with a smile.
If someone is interested in reaching out to Linda Manor Assisted, you can click here for their Facebook page.