Rochester Hills Senior Center Installs a Safe ‘Hug Station’
This really means a LOT to a LOT of people, and not just the residents.
Christi Smarch is the regional director of wellness for American House. She had seen the idea on social media about creating a safe hug station and wanted to try it out.
Smarch told Fox 2 Detroit that the idea was created out of "frustration. But more so, there’s some sadness. People are just sad. Just like everybody else, they just wanted to be normal again."
We've all seen the pictures of loved ones talking to their elderly family members through panes of glass; it's painful to watch but we all know that it's for the best. However, this seems like a great alternative.
The wood frame has a clear piece of plastic that acts as a wall between the hugger and the huggee. Residents are required to sign a consent form, and the wall is brought directly to the door of their room.
Residents initially thought that the idea was "silly," according to Smarch, but they've come around and they're having fun with it.
Staff members and residents are required to wear a mask and gloves and are encouraged to turn their heads when they hug so that they don't place their face against the plastic.
I've said this before and I'm not afraid to say it again - my mom passed in an assisted living in 2018 and I am so glad that she left when she did. I can't imagine having a loved one in assisted living right now and I feel for everybody who does.