28/12/2020 – 10:00 Updated: 12/28/2020 – 10:54
“In March, when the centers were closed, one of my residents told me that the only thing he lost was the human touch. When he told me, I put my gloves on and held his hands while he cried. It was when I began to think of different ways so that our elderly could hug their loved ones without risking their lives ”, he assured the CNN the director of the residence, Becky Hudson. So he decided to ask to help the Boy Scouts.
McCain Penrod, a 17-year-old, decided to take on the project. He worked for a month with his father and fellow Boy Scouts, testing different designs. In the end, he built a model with a Plexiglas window, for family members to see, and two large, sanitized gloves for residents to put on and be able to. hug your relatives.
Three of these have been donated to the residence “cuddle booths“They were installed on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving. Since then, everything has changed for residents, explained the director of the center:” I immediately saw a huge difference. Some residents who were normally active had retired when they stopped seeing their family members. Most of our residents have dementia and were confused why their children stopped coming to see them. They refused emotionally, but the cuddle booths came in and they were finally able to see them and hold hands, and now they’re finally doing activities again, they want to come down for their meals. ”
Christmas, hard dates
The project has helped the elderly in this Houston residence so much that they want to bring the invention to other places. “Cuddle booths changed everything and I really believe that all nursing homes should have them,” they insisted.
The experts ask to maintain virtual contact and try to de-drama
Christmas increases the feeling of loneliness of the elderly. As he has assured Medical Writing the head of the Mental Health Working Group of the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG), Fernando Gonçalves, the pandemic will have mental consequences for all, but will be less reversible and more severe for those over 75 years.
Family visits will be canceled on many occasions. In addition, his routines are deeply altered and all this in the midst of an atmosphere full of feelings of unreality and uncertainty, while “he attends a continuous bombardment, through the media, of discouraging and threatening news for his future, which feels helpless. ” According to the head of the Mental Health Working Group of the SEMG, this “gives rise to insurmountable feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and abandonment, difficult to handle by the old man, already alone ”.