Community comes out to say hello to loved ones

Chestnut Hill of Highlands and Eckerd Living Center recently held parades on campus to give residents a chance to see family and friends since visitations were prohibited back in March because of COVID-19.

Family and friends drove through the parking lots with messages of love and support for residents at Chestnut Hill and Eckerd Living Center.

Chestnut Executive Director Linda Tiffany said it’s been difficult for residents not being able to see visitors and this was a chance to do it in a safe manner. Cars loaded with family and friends drove through the living facilities’ campuses and was greatly appreciated by residents.

Residents at Chestnut Hill in Highlands were thrilled to see loved ones during a parade of visitors.

“They loved, they absolutely loved it,” said Tiffany. “There was one lady that when she saw her daughter the expression on her face was just priceless, it was so precious. They just haven’t been able to see their families in so long. Every one of them thought it was wonderful.”

Several youngsters joined the party wearing costumes or playing instruments to brighten the residents’ day.

Tiffany said staff at Chestnut Hill have been pulling extra duties to help keep residents’ minds occupied an active during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she’s thankful for their efforts.

“It was a group effort to get this all together and I thought they did fabulous,” she said. “And we’re so thankful Captain Jolly from the [Highlands] Police Department was there showing his support.”

Staff at Chestnut Hill said residents had a blast.

Plans are in the works to hold visitation parades at Chestnut Hill once a month from now on.

Eckerd Living Center

ELC Activities Director Chase Nelson said giving residents a chance to see their loved ones makes a world of difference.

“It means so much to them, you can’t put it into words,” she said. “It’s on all of their faces. When they see their people it’s a different connection. They have a smile of pure joy on their face.”

Residents at the Eckerd Living Center also had a day full of visitors from loved ones. Pictured above HPD Officer Tim BRoughten leads the parade.

Cars lined the campus of the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital where the ELC is located and included members of the Highlands Police Department, Highlands Fire & Rescue, and the Mountain Garden Club.

“The Mountain Garden Club, the Police and Fire Departments, just a phone call and they were excited to do it and be a part of it,” said Nelson. “That made it even more special for our residents.”

Residents at ELC were all smiles having the chance to see friends and family.

She added that it takes a lot to make these parades happen, and she couldn’t do it without such a dedicated staff.

“A huge shoutout to the staff, the logistics to get everyone outside safely is a lot,” said Nelson. “A lot of places can’t do it, but we can pull it off.”

ELC Director of Nursing Emily Bowers doing what she can to make every day special for the residents.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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Chestnut Hill of Highlands

Eckerd Living Center

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