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Fort Myers assisted living facility holds parade for residents, families, staff

It’s been two months since Joyce Aubele has been able to hug her parents at Barrington Terrace, an assisted living facility in Fort Myers.

“They’ve taken mom and dad to the door so that we can go up to the door and say hello to them and wave,” Aubele said.

But Wednesday the residents are not behind glass, and instead spectators of a parade of cars, all for them.

For the visit, Aubele brought with her a blowup picture from her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

“We’ve had it for all these years,” she said, “and I figured why not get it out and use it for today.”

Holding signs of love and appreciation, one by one, family members paraded the streets waving to loved ones they haven’t been able to embrace since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Georgie Romeo is the executive director at Barrington Terrace. “They were so excited… to have the opportunity to see their family they couldn’t wait. We had to hold them back the door.”

Romeo says it’s just one of the ways the facility is trying to keep families connected during this difficult time. Another is by doing daily FaceTime and Zoom calls”

Thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association more seniors can talk with their loved ones through senior-friendly technology.

“It’s been so fun, just to see all the reactions,” Romeo added, “because a lot of this is the first time for our residents.”

Aubele was happy for the experience despite the circumstances, saying, “It’s such trying times for everybody involved and it’s just amazing that they’re able to do this and keep us connected.”

Connected, even from six feet apart.

Not only did families show support to residents, they also gave thanks to assisted living facility staff who they say have also been on the front lines during this pandemic.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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