Stone Mountain-Lithonia Patch: Nursing Home Residents Get To Hug Family After One Year

The Stone Mountain-Lithonia Patch featured Park Springs in a story about Pebblebrook members and their families reuniting and embracing in hugs after nearly a year of visits with social distancing and barriers to protect the population most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. On March 15, Parks Springs opened its doors to family visits once again now that members are vaccinated against COVID-19.

New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely visit with other vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated people, as long as safety precautions are followed.

“We have come full circle from where we were one year ago when we locked the doors to the outside world,” said Donna Moore, COO at Isakson Living, which developed and operates Park Springs. “At the beginning of this pandemic, we had 75 of our staff lock-in with our members for 75 days to protect them from COVID-19. Even after emerging from the lock-in in June, we steadfastly tested and followed all the protocols and guidelines to protect our members. And now that our members have been vaccinated and cleared the waiting period, we are so happy to see them reunited with their families.”

Throughout the pandemic Parks Springs didn’t let their residents miss moments with family. Park Springs staff utilized Zoom calls, FaceTime and other technologies; window visits; and outdoor visits at fully-enclosed tent structures with a clear plastic sheet between residents and family to allow for safe family visits.

“This is a long-anticipated day for our entire community as we know our members will receive so much joy in being able to hug and hold hands with their families after not being able to for so long,” said Park Springs Healthcare Administrator Nadia Williams. “Every time we cross a milestone – bringing back meals together in the household dining
rooms, allowing interhousehold visits, creating the opportunity for outside visits, administering vaccinations – we are that much closer to normal. But this feels like the
biggest step in that direction, and we are so happy for this day to have finally come.”

To view the story online, visit the Stone Mountain-Lithonia Patch webpage here.