Strict social distancing policies that prevent visitors from having physical contact with  residents have been the norm at nursing homes as some states begin to allow outdoor visitation at long-term care facilities. 

A Virginia-based nursing home figured out a way to hold visits that allow residents to safely hold hands and hug their loved ones. 

The Brandon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation, a 62-bed facility in Roanoke, VA, implemented its new family visitation booths earlier this month. The booths feature a glass barrier at the top and arm holes, with plastic gloves attached, at the bottom. Visitors can place their arms through holes and touch residents while wearing the plastic gloves.

Facility staff members partnered with its maintenance department to create the booths, according to Esteban Duran-Ballen, administrator at the Brandon Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center.  

Brandon Oaks schedule visits in 20 minute increments. Staff members also clean and change the gloves between each visit.  

“The restrictions have been hard for the residents, they miss their families, some who used to visit every day,” said Stephen Davies, activities director for Brandon Oaks. “We hope this will help bring them back together in a unique way until they can truly be back together again.”