Last fall, as COVID cases began to rise again, TRU’s Amanda Meier and her husband built a hug tent with the help of TRU volunteers to provide residents of senior living facilities a long-awaited chance to embrace their loved ones. TRU’s hug tent is built around an 8 foot by 8 foot pop-up tent with three heavy-duty, clear plastic walls with sets of arm holes cut into the front wall and plastic sleeves for the hug.
Social isolation is an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic. Senior living facilities must follow strict safety guidance when they set visitation policies. This results in short window or outdoor visits while maintaining a six-foot distance. TRU’s hug tent does not replace regular visits or physical connection, but it does offer a moment of respite in our challenging world.
There have been two hug tent events so far. The first took place in November at the Hover Green Houses in Longmont, and the second was held this Wednesday at Juniper Village Assisted Living Center in Louisville. There will be another hug tent event at Juniper Village this coming Tuesday, February 9, and Amanda Meier says that TRU will continue to bring this invaluable service to seniors and their families.
“You can see sort of relief in their bodies and their faces when they finally get to have that physical contact, which is really a basic human need. And in these facilities, a lot of times they’re missing it anyway because they’re just not with their families,” Meier said. “I don’t think it’s measurable, really. You just know it when you see it and feel it when you’re there.”
More news about TRU’s recent hug tent events:
‘Hug tent’ provides safe embraces at Colorado elderly home
– Associated Press