'Sweetest thing ever': Assisted-living facilities' heartwarming photos during coronavirus lockdown go viral

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Assisted-living facilities in Minnesota and North Carolina are sharing heartwarming photos of families during the COVID-19 lockdown. Images via Facebook.

The novel coronavirus has caused retirement and assisted-living facilities around the world to enter lockdown in order to protect those considered most vulnerable to the virus. According to experts, people over 65 and those with compromised immune systems could develop severe and potentially life-threatening respiratory complications, making self-isolation of the utmost importance.

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In the wake of the precautionary lockdowns, family members and friends are finding creative ways to stay in contact with their loved ones — and their heartwarming photos are going viral.

Sandy Hamilton of Coon Rapids, Minn. works at an assisted-living facility that was forced to go into lockdown. Hamilton snapped a photo of a resident and his son and the creative way they are staying in touch during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Hamilton shared the photo to Facebook with the caption, “My assisted living is on lockdown so he comes every day to see his dad and they talk through the phone, sweetest thing ever.”

The photo, of the unnamed man and his son, has received more than 730,000 shares on social media, and more than 17,000 comments from people around the world.

“They look so sweet,” one person wrote. “Just like they’re sitting on the porch together.”

Another wrote, “I’ve shared this to my senior’s real estate community so others can make the sentiment come true and more importantly, go and duplicate the deed themselves.”

Many people have reached out to thank Hamilton for sharing the post, writing that they’ve been inspired to call their loved ones and find similar solutions to help those in lockdown feel as though they have some form of safe contact with their families.

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Hamilton’s post has been a bright spot for many, and a piece of feel-good news in a time of panic and fear.

“Where there’s a way, love and passion will prevail. Great story,” wrote one reader.

The Premier Living and Rehab Center in Lake Waccamaw, N.C. shared a special moment between a grandfather and granddaughter celebrating her engagement during lockdown in a moving set of photos to Facebook.

“Even though visitation is restricted at this time, staff suggested an alternative,” the facility posted to social media. “Here, a resident’s granddaughter tells her grandfather that she’s engaged! Emotional and memorable, for sure! Thank you for allowing us to capture this special moment!”

The post has been shared more than 140,000 times on social media, with many readers sharing their stories of small acts of kindness to connect with those in isolation.

“I babysit out of my home, today all of the kids made cards to send to a local nursing home,” one woman wrote. “I know it's not the same, but they're hoping to brighten up their day.”

“I work at a nursing home. I work on the dementia and Alzheimers unit and a lot are none verbal. I have one resident who is used to seeing his wife everyday and you could see how sad he was,” another commented. We brought him to his bedroom window to see her and although he doesn't do anything other then mostly babble you could see his whole demeanour change. He started laughing, waving and babbling away. He was instantly so happy. Needless to say I had to walk out of the room because I was in tears.”

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