Seniors in facilities can hug their loved ones again

Mary Nele
Mac Mouton
Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 13:26:18-04

YOUNGSVILLE, La. — Residents at assisted living facilities and nursing homes can finally hug their friends and family.

344 days.

That’s how long residents at Avanti Living in Youngsville were unable to hug their loved ones. Instead, they and their families had to sit and wait.

The vaccine is now changing that, and little by little, what seemed like a rainy day that lasted forever is coming to an end.

“He got his second one today,” said Debbie Haydell, Malcolm ‘Mac’ Mouton's daughter. “He’s doing good, he’s doing good.”

His daughter says the moment is finally here – she hadn’t been able to hug her father since he started living at Avanti in September.

“We’re so grateful that times have changed,” she said. "We’ve been praying for it, we’ve been hoping for it.”

Mary Nele’s family waited to have their Christmas to make sure she was a part of the celebration.

Months later, she was finally able to do so.

“I feel like I died and went to heaven,” said Nele. “It was so awesome to be with them Sunday. We were finally able to have our Christmas.”

She's now able to leave her suite at Avanti, and she’s ready for it all.

“You know, life is what you make it,” she said. “You can sit in that room and feel sorry for yourself, or you can get out and enjoy life. I choose to enjoy life.”

Family and Resident Advocate, Natalie Johnson says she's happy to see her residents enjoy their normal activities.

“To be able to hug on their loved ones," she said. "They can go places, go shopping, and just do some of the things they always loved to do.”

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