ROCK HILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) And as COVID-19 has separated many families especially those with loved ones living in assisted living facilities. Many went a long time without seeing their families.
Now, as visitation restrictions continue to be lifted and families are reconnecting.
In a pandemic that has separated many these families have found a way to stay together.
Harbor Chase Riverwalk Executive Director, Rob Hernandez says, “In our senior population the need for not just companionship but family is essential right now.”
One employee started at Harbor Chase Riverwalk in January just before the pandemic spread she moved her 89 and 84 year old parents in just one month ago saying she’s grateful she gets to keep them close.
They say it’s a bond that’s not easily broken and the three HarborChase Riverwalk employees that get to spend a little extra time with their loved ones say that those moments together are invaluable.
“Oh, we just hope than pray that this all ends soon and we can go and be a family again but we know this is the best thing for us at this point in time,” says Harbor Chase Riverwalk resident, Joy Holmes.
Joy moved to Harbor Chase Riverwalk when it opened in January she says she loves the facility and the opportunities they’ve given residents to continue to see the people they care about. Joy’s grandson Luke had planned to spend his summer working at Carowinds but the park’s closures provided a new opportunity now he spends his afternoons working along side his grandmother.
“It’s not something that’s very common especially working in the place that she lives so getting an opportunity to see her and occasionally she’ll start moving dishes in the dining room as well, that’s just a very special dynamic relationship,” says Luke Holmes.
Gus Lettoa who just celebrated 51 years of marriage to his wife Rachel says he was torn by the visitation shut downs – because he loved visiting his wife for hours each day. So he moved Rachel into Harbor Chase at Riverwalk and took any job he could to be close to her.
“My way deteriorated I mean she’s not able to stand now, she was forgetting who I was and I can see improvements now,” says Leotta.
Gus says he’s had many jobs in his life but his role as Rachel’s husband is the most cherished.
“I think if you love somebody… Do you wanna be with that person,” say Leotta.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson found, some families have found new ways to be closer to the ones they love.