Nursing home residents celebrate Class of 2020

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 5:35 PM EDT
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It is a difficult time for nursing home residents across the region. But at the Hanover Terrace, they are making the most of things and giving a little back.

"I wish it was over," said Ann Davis of Orford.

Ann Davis has been married to her husband for 65 years. He lives at Hanover Terrace. I caught up with her on her daily window date. The couple hasn't hugged in two months.

"I would be delighted to be able to touch him, talk to him, other than through a window," Ann Davis said.

It's just one example of the world nursing home residents are living in. At this 100-bed facility, which has been closed to visitors since mid-March, caregivers have also become surrogate family members.

"We try to take the extra time every day, maybe play a card game, take a resident around the grounds outside for a walk," said Martha Ilsley of Hanover Terrace.

During this National Nursing Home Week, residents at Hanover Terrace are giving the Class of 2020 a shoutout.

"This year's Nursing Home Week theme is share our wisdom," said Keri-Ann Coutu, the activities director.

Simple little messages they are sharing with the world, like "look forward," "stick to your target" and "run like hell."

"We've had some of them look at Zoom and watch their grandkids on Zoom being able to graduate, but they wanted to be able to reach out to all graduating classes," Coutu explained.

"I think it says that our residents are compassionate and caring and they are looking at the bigger picture," Ilsley said.

Residents like Dorothy Anderson, who's also likely craving a hug from family.

"I do miss see them," she said. "I miss their visits. I miss going home to visit."

Anderson and I had our own quick window date. She told me what the simple messages mean.

"Being able to give them words of wisdom makes us feel better. I hope it helps them," she said.

And it is obviously not just about the residents. As the sign says out front, committed, dedicated heroes work here.

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