A Quarantine Carnival at The Maplewood
Nursing home residents wave flags and balloons as family members drive by in a mini parade
Where there’s a will, there’s a way - especially when the will is driven by loved ones with brightly colored signs.
Even as places slowly open up, nursing homes are still maintaining strict safety measures to protect their residents and staff from the coronavirus. As a result, visits from family members are still very limited.
Recognizing that their residents may be feeling down due to restricted family visits, in addition to the number of canceled Webster events (such as the Webster Firemen’s Carnival, a community favorite), The Maplewood Nursing Home in Webster decided to hold a little carnival-like event of its own.
Yesterday, Maplewood residents and staff sat outside the home and waved as a firetruck and ambulance led a parade of cars full of friends and family members through the parking lot.
Maplewood Administrator Greg Chambery says the idea came from the home’s dining director, Michael Fall, “who noticed the residents’ disappointment with events being canceled this year, such as the Webster Fireman’s Parade and several Maplewood family dining events.”
It started off as a small idea which then grew into a festive affair full of balloons, carnival food, and decorated cars driven by loved ones.
“[Fall] came together with other departments to create our own Maplewood Family parade, followed by a carnival-themed lunch,” said Chambery.
When asked if this would be the first time any of Maplewood’s residents have seen their loved ones since quarantining measures took place, Cindy Kearns, Maplewood’s communications specialist, said, “Yes, for some, I believe it is.”
She said they’ve slowly started allowing families to visit residents in person, but only one family is allowed at a time. As a result, giving each resident quality time with loved ones is a slow process.
This event was a small way to help the nursing home residents really feel the love they’ve likely been missing these past few months.
One of Maplewood’s residents, Eleanor, says the parade was “very successful.”
“Everything about it was wonderful,” said Eleanor. “All the cars were decorated and blowing horns to show their enthusiasm and some people had pets with them. We had balloons and flags to wave, which was really fun. It meant a lot to residents and families to see each other. I think we should do it again next year.”
About 30 cars and 86 loved ones participated in the parade. People were creative with signs, photo poster boards, and even costumes to brighten the Maplewood residents’ day. People also expressed their appreciation to Maplewood staff in their signs.
“I’m thrilled that we were able to host this wonderful event for our residents and families,” said Chambery. “Seeing all the faces light up as they saw their loved ones was quite moving. It was also terrific to see the Webster Community First Responders join us.”
He added, “I’d like to thank all of the families for decorating their cars and bringing so much joy to everyone at Maplewood.”
Below are some photos of the Maplewood parade.