Palm Coast memory care facility throws parade for residents living with dementia.
Lynne Churchin dropped off Easter candy for her mother, Ginny Reisinger, a few weeks ago at Market Street Memory Care of Palm Coast. According to staff, Reisinger ate the candy while riding around the facility in her wheelchair. But Churchin wasn't able to see her mother enjoy the candy herself. In fact, they haven't seen each other in six weeks, due to the restrictions in response to COVID-19.
"It's been horrible," Lynne Churchin said about the forced separation. "I haven't seen my mom since March 13. They're giving her wonderful care, but I wish I could talk to her."
For the first time since COVID-19 shut down visiting hours at all assisted living facilities, family members got to see their loved ones in a Honks for Hugs parade April 24, in the parking lot of Market Street, 2 Corporate Drive. Deputies from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, as well as vehicles from the Palm Coast Fire Department, joined in the parade, as did many family members, some of whom held up signs as they honked and waved.
Churchin wore a patriotic face covering and waved an American flag on her bicycle for the parade. "I think it's great," she said.
Another resident, Mary Johnson, waved to one car and said, "Hey, that's my daughter!"
Lori Newsone said from her car, "My dad is here. It's awesome. It made us cry."
Community Relations Director Christine Singura McGrath helped organize the event at Market Street, where all residents have dementia.
"This was a way to have a meaningful connection amid the COVID pandemic," she said.
McGrath also praised staff members, all of whom are certified dementia practitioners. "Our mission is to care to serve and to love," she said.