ELM GROVE — With two small dogs leading the way on leashes, Donna Grody walks up to a window she has become familiar with in the past few weeks due to the coronavirus.
On the other side is her 89-year-old mom, who lives at a senior living home. The two put their hands to the glass window, and that's as close as they will be able to get to each other for the coming weeks. Donna Grody helps her dogs put their paws on the window to do the same thing.
"You know our hand through the glass, through the window, you're kind of like okay were here, but you cant reach out and do that physical, and that's what I miss a lot," Donna Grody said.
She hasn't been able to hug her mom since many senior living homes closed their doors to official visits due to the coronavirus pandemic, including Heritage Assisted Living and Memory Care in Elm Grove.
For many who want to visit elderly relatives at senior homes, the best they can do is visit through a window like Donna does every week. pic.twitter.com/6h6cYw25Xw— James Groh (@JamesGroh_) March 25, 2020
"It's definitely harder. I mean, it is definitely harder," she said.
Grody visits her mom about once a week. However, the visits just haven't been the same since the new restrictions were put in place. Grody's mom, Rhoda, has dementia. It makes talking through a window that much more difficult.
"It's hard to hear her a little bit, and they're telling me what she is saying. So it is hard to communicate."
The mother-daughter time that Grody misses the most is the lunch dates and her mom's sweet tooth.
"I would normally come at lunch and bring her potato chips, root beer, cookies, muffins, or something, and I would sit at lunch with her."
Besides still being able to see her mom, the good news for Donna is that she can still bring her mom little treats on each visit. She brings peeps and root beer, her mom's favorite.
Millions of Americans are experiencing the same thing as Donna. Since the elderly are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus, nursing homes and senior care facilities have been closing their doors to visits and restricting who can come in the building.
It's a necessary safety precaution, but it doesn't mean it hurts any less, not being able to hug your mom.
"There's nothing that takes the place of physical touch, you know. This is great, but it's not the same."
To make the trip better, Donna brings along her mom's favorite dogs Cosmo and Teddy. The smile on Donna's mom's face from seeing the pups is a slight consolation for not being able to be in the same room as each other.
Donna has been keeping her hopes up about the situation. She reminds her mom that the pandemic will be over soon, and the two will be able to hug each other again.