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Window visits at long-term care facility in Bloomington brings smiles to residents



BLOOMINGTON — Long term care facilities across the country are trying to adapt to visitor restrictions as they try to protect its residents from the coronavirus.

At Garden Villa in Bloomington, all outside visitors are not allowed inside. Only healthcare personnel is allowed through their doors. The message is posted on their front door.

It was difficult for some residents when they could not see their loved ones.

“They have been sad,” said Angela Patterson, Director of Nursing. “A lot of them are asking when do I get to see my family.”

That is why some friends and family decided to visit their resident through a window.

On Friday, a group walked up to a window to visit 88-year-old Howard.

He turns 89 years old in May. He loves to cheer on IU basketball. Howard says from 1969 until two years ago, he only missed one home basketball game.

The group who visited him was made up of his church family and two family members.

They know how much Howard loves to sing so the group sang with him for a few minutes. The pastor’s wife even brought a sign that said, “we love you.”

Staff inside with Howard called someone outside so he could talk to his friends and family.

“We couldn’t be more thankful that someone actually cares enough to come out and visit these residents,” said Patterson. “I don’t know what to say. It has made their day.”

It is the second time this week his friends and family have stopped by at the window. They are trying to find joy out of a difficult situation.

“At least they are getting to see them,” said Patterson. “They know someone cares.”

They still plan to come by with updates until this is all over.

Patterson said about 20 groups a day come to their facility to see a loved one at a window. Most of these visits are surprises. Even though the door is closed, they know the window is always open.

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