By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – Families of residents in long-term care and memory care were able to have face-to-face conversations with their loved ones for the first time in months on Wednesday. Thanks to Pinkard Construction and Clermont Park Senior Care, a cherry picker was used to lift family members to the levels where their loved ones live.

(credit: CBS)

They were allowed to speak in-person for the first time since the emergence of COVID-19.

“The last few months have been not only a little difficult for residents, but also for their loved ones,” said Mikaela Craig, assisted living director for the community.

A musician was taken to the balcony, via cherry picker, where he played a concert for the residents. Then, one-by-one, family members were lifted up and able to visit with their loved one from a distance.

“It’s emotional,” said Michael Pasquariello, a visitor.

Pasquariello’s aunt, Anna Liuzzi, is one of the residents at Clermont. He was able to ride the cherry picker to the balcony, where he spent a few minutes speaking with her.
“Hello, Anna,” Pasquariello said. “You look good.”

(credit: CBS)

Liuzzi, 97, has dementia. Pasquariello said her face lit up when he saw her. For the past few months, he has been forced to talk with her over the phone and FaceTime, which often confused her.

“Seeing somebody visually sparked something in her. She knew who was I was immediately,” Pasquariello said. “It helps a lot for her to see somebody, it kicks in her memory. And, then she starts talking and sharing stories.”

Liuzzi waved at Pasquariello, and told him he looked good as well.

“I think it will mean more to her seeing us in person, than just on a little screen,” Pasquariello said.

(credit: CBS)

Thanks to Pinkard Construction, the reunions were able to bring a moment of joy to the residents.

“It’s really brought a huge light to their day,” Craig said.

Dillon Thomas

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