Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And long-term providers are making a way for families and other visitors to safely visit residents. 

Colorado-based nonprofit healthcare organization TRU Community Care teamed up with Hover Senior Living Community’s skilled nursing facility to create a “hug tent” that allows visitors and residents to safely see and touch each other during the pandemic. 

“It’s really good for the residents,” said Amanda Meier, a project coordinator for the organization. “I just wish everybody could find a way that they could not be so isolated, whatever it takes.”

The structure was put into place last week. Similar to the visitation booth with plastic sleeves adopted by a Virginia nursing home over the summer, the “hug tent” takes the idea to a completely different level. The former features a glass barrier and arm holes with plastic gloves attached, while uses a canopy tent to create a shelter where residents are placed.

Plastic sheeting, which is about 4 millimeters thick, is used to cover three sides of the tent, which is set up outside of the facility in a courtyard. 

The tent also features plastic arm hole openings, for both the resident and their visitor, which allows them to physically touch and embrace each other safely. Both residents and visitors are required to wear gloves during the visit. 

Facility staff members disinfect the tent between each meeting. 

“It’s pretty emotional, more than you think it should be,” Janet Morrell, the daughter of a resident, told local media.

“It’s nice to be able to actually touch them,” she added. 

We’re sure there will be more emotional visits to come, thanks to this new measure and some inventive caregivers.