Hugs at a distance

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Dolores and her father sharing their first hug in four months.It’s been several long months since the beginning of the pandemic, but thanks to the ingenuity of the team at Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby, BC, residents and their families are finally able to see and hug each other again, all while maintaining social distancing.

“The hug with my father after almost four months was indescribable,” said Dolores, the daughter of a resident at Rideau. “The ability to be able to hug him, even if was through a plastic shower curtain, was overwhelming, heartwarming, and fulfilling. [It was] the longest hug my father and I have ever had.”

“We needed to figure out a way that we could get families and residents reconnected and let them have quality time together,” said Teena Love, General Manager at Rideau. Teena’s husband helped her come up with the idea for the hug curtain after seeing something similar on social media. They adapted the original concept, ensuring it followed all PPE guidelines, before implementing it at Rideau.

When asked how she felt about being able to bring this experience back to residents and their families, Teena said, “Well, it pretty much makes me cry when I think about it too much. It makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing and you’re helping people heal.”

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