Curbside Chats: Assisted living facility adapts during quarantine

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Assisted living facilities are home to the Lowcountry’s most vulnerable. To help keep residents safe, many facilities have stopped allowing visitors. However, The Bridge at Charleston found a creative way to protect their residents while they visit with loved ones.

The staff noticed that spirits were down at their facility. With concerns of the virus spreading, residents were spending more time inside, disconnected from the outside world.

“We noticed they weren’t as happy as they normally were,” says Dining Director Michelle Gurbal. To try and lift their spirits, they started “curbside chats.”

They pulled a tent and a few chairs outside and invited visitors to drive up and say hi to their loved ones. The staff couldn’t believe how quickly their moods shifted and the feedback they received from visitors.

Executive Director Amy Moon says that they’ve already received dozens of letters from families; thanking them for the opportunity to stop by during this stressful time.

“It’s not just about the fact that we’re getting them out here and they’re getting to see their families. It’s a comfort level for the family to see, we’re still taking care of them, even though we’re kinda on lock down right now,” says Moon.

Beyond the “curbside chats,” the staff has made an effort to move indoor activities outside. For example, one resident was playing ring toss this afternoon.

“I’ve been going stir-crazy,” says Paul, a 20-year Navy veteran. He expressed how nice it was to spend a little bit of time outdoors.

Both Moon and Gurbal say that their facility has been fortunate during this difficult time. They are hoping to extend the gratitude to the community with a food donation drop-off. To find out how to donate, click here.

The Bridge at Charleston is one of the only facilities still taking residents. For more details, click here.

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