GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Mother’s Day deserves a parade, even if it weren’t forced by a pandemic.
For families separated from loves ones at Memorial Driftwood Nursing Center in Gulfport, it’s a welcomed occasion.
“After we’re having to do social distancing, to be able to do a parade to see in any way means the world to me,” said Lesa Kelly of Poplarville, who has her mother at Driftwood. “You can’t take them out to lunch. So, getting to do the parade, they all get to enjoy it.”
Sharron Ventura drove in from Baton Rouge for the occasion.
“Just being able to be here – haven’t been able to see her for two months - and just being a part of this and know that she’s here and they can just have something exciting for Mother’s Day," she said. "Just being a part of it is awesome, you know?”
The only thing missing is the hugs. For now, smiles and waves will have to do.
Employees joined family and friends to give the residents lining the route a little cheer.
“I think this is certainly one of the most challenging times for nursing homes,” said Kyle Lewis, Memorial senior care director. “And our first and foremost priority is keeping our residents safe, but we also have a duty to make sure we are meeting their social needs, and it’s days like today that really do that. They get outside and really enjoy a beautiful day like today and see their loved ones and celebrate with them. So, it’s quite important to them.”
This is one of many events designed to help the residents and their families.
“We are very fortunate to have a great activities department here,” Lewis added. “And they’re really thinking outside the box, like tele-visits with family members. We’re fortunate to have actually three decks here so we encourage family members to come and social distance and just come and see their loved ones.”