April 1, 2021

Warm Hugs and Embraces As Families Visit Loved Ones in the Privacy of Their Rooms

Joyce Duggan enjoys seeing her daughter-in-law JoAnn Duggan and long-time neighbor and friend Jean Topolski to catch up and share some laughs.

Patricia Benton enjoyed an in-room visit with daughters Beth Croteau and Sonya Brenton, and then stepped outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and the warm sun!There was great excitement in the air at The Leavitt Family Jewish Home as family members were welcomed into the building to visit their loved ones in the privacy of their own rooms under a new family visitation policy. The new guidelines released by Governor Baker and the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) provided additional flexibility to the conditions for visitation, communal dining and group activities. “Our mom has been here since before Covid.  We’ve enjoyed our socially distanced visits outdoors and in the auditorium, but we have never seen the new room she moved into! We are excited to see the space she has been living in and to give her a big hug and embrace!” exclaimed Beth Croteau, when screening in with her sister Sonya Brenton to visit their mother Patricia Brenton

Brad and Jane Albert arrived carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a cheerful needlepoint pillow, hand stitched by Brad’s mother, Marcia Albert, who they were excited to finally get to see and spend some quality time with.  “We’ve been counting the days and hours to see her,” remarked Brad.   Although Brad had seen is mother recently, Jane had not seen her since January.  Jane, an executive at Baystate Health, knows all too well the hardship of families not being able visit their loved ones.  “I am aware on a daily basis of the challenges families face when separated from those they love.  Being away from Mom for so long in addition to not being able to be with her as she transitioned into her new home at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home was challenging.  Knowing we can now visit with mom is certainly bringing us all much comfort and joy.”

When Martin Levson walked into his wife Sheri’s room her eyes lit up.  Martin has frequently visited his wife Sheri through socially distanced visits both indoors and outdoors, weather permitting.  It was wonderful to be able to walk into her room and see where she spends her days, and enjoy a long and personal visit.

Ann Oliminsky enjoys a visit from long-time friend Mary Jo Salvon in her room at Sosin Center for Rehabilitation.Mary Jo Salvon came to visit Anne Oliminsky, who was residing at Sosin Center for Rehabilitation.  Mary Jo and Anne are long-time friends, having graduated together from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing many years ago.  They worked together and raised their kids together.  Ann has five girls and Mary Jo has 3 children.  Now that both are widowed their friendship is all the more important to them.  “It’s nice to be able to come in and visit Anne in her room,” commented Mary Jo.  “The staff are very helpful and cordial.  Kim at the reception greeted me and checked me in and then called Holly from activities to escort me to Ann’s room.  Everyone is so friendly.”  Anne shared, “It’s wonderful here.  When I call for assistance the staff come right away.  Everyone is so nice.” (photo attached)

Jean Topolski and Joanne Duggan arrived to visit with Joanne’s mother-in-law Joyce Duggan. Jean is Joyce’s neighbor of 50 years and they raised their children together. “I don’t want to lose my good friend now,” exclaimed Jean with a smile.  “I am looking forward to seeing my friend and have a few laughs!”  Joanne said, “I am excited to see her,” as she carried a beautiful floral arrangement into her  mother-in-law’s room.

“One of the hardest things to implement during this pandemic has been the restrictions on family in-person visitations, due to our need to implement social distancing measures and infection control practices,” commented Rob Whitten, Executive Director of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home.  “The safety and wellbeing of each and every one of our residents has been and remains our top priority.  I appreciate how patient and resilient our families have been during these very challenging times.  With the drop in our community positivity rate and the vaccines being more readily available we are now able to offer in room visits.  It is so encouraging to see the happy smiles and embraces, and sometimes tears, of families reunited.”