PARK RIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Just in time for Father’s Day, nursing homes and other long-term care centers in New Jersey are now allowing visitors, at an outdoor space.
It made this day that much more special for families, who haven’t seen their loved ones for months, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Sunday.READ MORE: Gabby Petito Search: Video Shows Couple Questioned About Physical Altercation In Utah, Fiancé Told Police Road Trip Created 'Emotional Strain'
Richard Strattner and Nina, married for 56 years, have each other. What a relief that is for them and for those who love them.
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But not being able to visit with family members out in the open during this pandemic has been tough on the former educators. So they consider themselves very lucky getting this gift on Father’s Day.
They were among the first allowed visits that were not through glass or with aid of technology.
Atrium Senior Living Park Ridge, where they live, and similar facilities got the go-ahead effective on the holiday from Gov. Phil Murphy.
“To be able to see them and they look good and look healthy, that was really reassuring,” Christopher Strattner said.
The Strattner’s son, Christopher, and his wife, Christie Coville, said it felt almost like pre-coronavirus pandemic days again.READ MORE: Feast Of San Gennaro Returns In Little Italy As Vendors Take COVID Precautions
“Happy that they are outside, because I haven’t been outside in so long and it’s great to see them out and moving around and getting outside of their room,” Christie said.
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There are only two guests allowed at a time and before the get-together, they get a temperature check and they fill out a health questionnaire. Then, it’s masks and social distancing.
Atrium employees who care for the Strattners know meaningful interaction like this makes a huge difference.
“We’re so happy to make that connection again because it’s so important for their emotional well being,” Atrium Senior Living Park Ridge executive director Marianne Adamitis said.
“Wonderful, wonderful,” Richard said.
“It was beautifully organized, beautifully handled. I thank all the people at Atrium,” Nina added.MORE NEWS: Search For Suspects After Man Shot, Another Robbed While Dining Outside Philippe Restaurant On Upper East Side
Hugs would be nice, but not just yet. For now, it’s enough to be eye to eye, and heart to heart.