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“Hug Tent” Provides a Safe Hug in Colorado Elderly Housing with Care

Louisville, Colorado. – Linda Hartman needed a hug.

It’s been at least eight months since I touched my 77-year-old husband, Len, at the Assisted Living Center in the suburbs of Denver last year for dementia.

On Wednesday, she had a little taste of what life was like before the coronavirus pandemic.

Some kind.

Thanks to a “hug tent” located outside Louisville’s Juniper Village, Hartman wears plastic sleeves and has a husband, despite being separated by a 4 mm thick clear plastic barrier. I was able to squeeze.

“I really needed it. After a short visit, a 75-year-old woman said,” I really needed it. It made a lot of sense to me and lasted for a long time. “

Hartman, who had broken two vertebrae and couldn’t take care of her husband, thought it was a little confusing, but said it was important to hug him again.

“We’ve been trying to do that for a long time,” she said. “I felt good, but when I hugged him, I kept hitting his glasses, and he got cold.”

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The setup wasn’t ideal, but Hartman said, “At least you can do something, and that’s important.”

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, similar tents have appeared nationwide, in Brazil and the United Kingdom, and are sometimes referred to as “cuddling curtains.”

A living support facility on the outskirts of Denver, Louisville, is fully vaccinated for residents and staff and will be built on a fierce and warm winter day this week in partnership with TRU Community Care, a non-profit healthcare organization. I installed the tent with grade plastic.

Anna Hostetter, a spokeswoman for the Juniper Village in Louisville, said: “I think there was a lot of weight off their shoulders and I could only hold a hug that I hadn’t held for a long time.” When we planned and set this up and looked at the pictures, I wasn’t sure if all the plastics and everything could really get in touch with humans. But I tore some of them. It was really special for our family. “

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The hug tents will rise again on Tuesday and staff are planning to continue hosting them.

It was important for Greg McDonald to hold hands with his 84-year-old mother, Chloe McDonald, as he hadn’t touched it since April. She likes to get the latest information on her grandchildren and granddaughters.

“Time is a valuable commodity, so while we’re all waiting for it to return to normal, we’re doing what everyone can do,” said Greg McDonald. “So, thank you for all the efforts they make to get in touch with more people.”

Amanda Meier, project coordinator at TRU CommunityCare, said she, her husband, and some volunteers created a hug tent around a standard 8 x 8 foot pop-up frame and made construction-grade plastic with glue and velcro. I said I installed it. An embroidery hoop is attached to the plastic arm sleeve built into the tent.

From the beginning of November, she helped set up four hug tents in Colorado and said the feedback was positive.

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“A lot of tears, a happy kind of tears, and a lot of shocking expressions about how we can do this in the world. That’s very strange,” Meyer says. I did.

But after the first strangeness, she said the benefits were clear.

“When they finally get that physical contact, you can see some relief on their bodies and their faces, it’s a really basic human need. And these Often I miss it anyway because I’m not with my family at the facility, “Meyer said. “I don’t think it’s really measurable. You know it when you see it and you just feel it when you’re there.”

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

“Hug Tent” Provides a Safe Hug in Colorado Elderly Housing with Care

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