The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on elderly people, who have been advised to strictly adhere to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines.
For those living in care facilities, this has meant that friends and loved ones cannot even visit them in person.
But, a care home in Brazil has come up with a creative solution, allowing seniors to connect with their loved ones while still keeping them safe from infection.
For 28 seniors living in isolation since March 17 at the Três Figueiras home in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, Mother’s Day came and went without any visitors—and the loving staff noticed that spirits were at an all-time low.
“We noticed that our senior residents were feeling sad,” Rubia Santos, the care home’s administrator told CNN. “We thought they would be much happier if we found a way for them to hug their relatives.”
So they put their heads together and created the ‘hug tunnel.’
Made of thick plastic sheeting, the hug tunnel has arm holes for visitors and residents to wrap their arms around the person standing on the other side.
The plastic has arm holes at three different heights to accommodate children and those in wheelchairs.
It gives people the opportunity to feel the warmth of human contact without risking coming into contact with the coronavirus.
To keep it extra safe for the residents, the staff at Três Figueiras makes sure the plastic is disinfected in between visits, which are all scheduled in advance. And visitors also have their temperatures checked and are asked to use hand sanitizer beforehand.
The idea came from a viral video showing a woman in the US hugging her mother using a plastic curtain with arm enclosures in the backyard.
It is catching fire around the world, connecting elderly folks with their loved ones in the most heartwarming way. In the video below, a woman in Illinois gets to hug her eager great-grandchildren, with the words HUG TIME decorating the plastic.
Rubia says the residents’ faces light up with joy due to these visits. “If anyone out there runs a senior living home or facility, I recommend you do this.”
“It is so gratifying to see them hugging each other and so important.”
Can’t get enough of this? Check out this touching story from the UK, where a man created a similar “cuddle curtain” when he needed a hug from his grandmother, who is overjoyed