Dozens of family and friends decorated their cars and participated in a Mother’s Day parade for residents at Woodlands Senior Living of Hallowell’s assisted living and memory care communities. Because of the coronavirus COVID-19, residents were unable to celebrate the holiday in person with loved ones, according to a news release from Kristen Gilley, director of development at the organization.

Family and friends of assisted living residents at Woodlands Senior Living in Hallowell gathered for a Mother’s Day parade. Photo courtesy of Woodlands Senior Living

Organized by the facility’s Executive Director Vicki Towne, the parade was in lieu of traditional celebrations in order to keep residents, staff and families safe amid the pandemic.

“During this time of social distancing, the staff and I thought it would be amazing for families and friends to be able to show how special their mothers are. We wanted the whole experience to be positive for families and residents, so the parade was born. Who doesn’t love a parade?” asked Towne.

Families arrived at a staging area and decorated their vehicles with streamers, paint, balloons and banners before being led by Hallowell police up Winthrop Street to the senior living community. A total of 110 vehicles participated, driving through the circular driveway and honking, waving and blowing kisses to residents watching safely from behind large windows. Residents from both assisted living and memory care communities watched the 30-minute parade, joined by staff.

A total of 110 vehicles filled with family and friends took part in a Mother’s Day parade for their relatives at Woodlands Senior Living in Hallowell. Photo courtesy of Woodlands Senior Living

“The residents were told we were having a parade but they did not know it was going to be family members until it started and they saw relatives waving and holding signs,” said Towne. “The residents clapped, cried, and blew kisses. There was lots of laughter.”

Woodlands Senior Living’s top priority is the well-being of the residents they serve. The family-owned organization continues to closely follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Maine Department of Health and Human Services as it relates specifically to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in longterm care facilities.

Because of the vulnerability of the elderly population, strict policies on social distancing and healthcare precautions are in place at all Woodlands Senior Living locations.

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