ROCKFORD (WREX) — It’s always a sweet gesture to hear from loved ones through out the day.
But as COVID-19 began to spread through the state of Illinois, Maple Crest Care Center in Belvidere shut down its visiting hours for visitors, meaning its residents lost physical interaction with their families.
“It’s hard, there is an even bigger challenge now,” said Jaime Smith.
That’s why the staff is asking families to send messages or videos to the center, so they can surprise residents with a special gift.
The center will print out the messages and hand them to residents.
The center also bought new Amazon Kindles for residents so they can watch the videos over and over again.
“The glow on their face is heartwarming, they smile, they laugh,” said The Director of Community Relations of Maple Crest Care Center Marc Bright.
Jaime smith lives in Rockton while her grandmother Marilynn lives at the center in Belvidere.
She says this is a great way for her and her kids to stay connected.
“Just to send a video so she can hear our voices, see our faces and stay connected, it really meant a lot tp us,” says Smith.
“They all know what’s going on in the news and they are concerned about their family, which is another reason for the communication,” said Bright.
Bright says this gesture does more than lighten residents’ moods, it also helps with their mental health.
“It makes them happy! Anytime you can make someone happy, to hear from someone they care for, that’s a postive mental approach that we feel we need to take,” said Bright.
Even though days continue to pass with families not seeing each other, Smith says it is important to be creative and reach out to others during this time.