Rome Woman Organizes Hundreds of “Hellos” for Nursing Homes
A Rome woman completed her journey to bring some cheer to nursing home residents who can not see their loved ones because of COVID-19. On Friday, Theresa Girouard delivered to her campaign's final nursing home.
Girouard started a Facebook page and organized the mission to send loving hellos to as many local nursing home residents as possible. The response she received was beyond her expectations.
"People made cards along with drawings and letters," said Girouard. She and her group were able to collect enough greetings from the public to service nearly 3,000 nursing home residents in 21 local facilities in Herkimer and Oneida counties. "The love, the care they gave, and the messages," said Girouard. "It's really the community we want to thank. It's just awesome."
On Friday, Girouard delivered a box of the cards and letters to the Lutheran Care facility in Clinton. The delivery had to happen in the parking lot as visitors are not allowed in the facility, due to NYS COVID-19 restrictions.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in March, nursing care facilities have been hardest hit in the region, as well as throughout the state. Many of the people who have died in our area from the virus have come from long-care homes, after residents still positive with the virus were sent back to the facilities when they no longer needed hospitalization. That policy has since changed.
Governor Cuomo has also instituted very strict visitation policies prohibiting in-person visitation in nursing homes, which many families have complained is actually causing more damage than the dangers of the virus itself. As positive COVID cases continue to rebound here in the area, families of residents fear that there's no end in sight for the tough rules that prevent them seeing their loved ones.
Girouard said this last delivery to Lutheran Care was special because it's so close to Thanksgiving.