A resident at Alamance House reacts to a video from her daughter and grandson on Mother's Day.

A different kind of Mother’s Day

Families keeping connected through video to celebrate despite pandemic restrictions

“What do we love about mothers?” asks a young relative of Kate Pate, a resident at Mitchell House in Spruce Pine, N.C., as he stands outside with three of his younger siblings.

“They are helpful, they are kind, they mold and shape our minds,” the children continue collectively in the video as they hold signs that read “Happy Mother’s Day.”

See how some residents reacted to videos, cards, and window visits from their loved ones on Mother’s Day.

This video ,along with more than 100 others, was sent to mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and special women across Affinity Living Group’s assisted living communities in the Southeast. The videos came from family members both near and far – with some sent from as far as England, California, Washington, and Texas.

“This is a different kind of Mother’s Day,” said Joy Elliott, executive director for The Landings of Mills River in Mills River, N.C. “We have just wanted to work extra hard and do everything we can to try to help the mothers and really all the women in our community feel special as we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend.”

Family members of residents in assisted living and memory care communities have adapted their typical Mother’s Day routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent safety precautions in place, but technology has made that transition a little bit easier.

“This isn’t how we thought we’d be celebrating Mother’s Day,” said Cathy Brown, daughter of Betty Jean who lives at The Orchard in Ridgeland, Miss. “But thank goodness for technology and we can celebrate this way.”

The video messages include “Happy Mother’s Day” wishes, plans to visit “as soon as it’s safe,” and reminiscent stories of memories with Mom.

Mothers are “giving, selfless, and the depth of their love is endless,” the Pate family video says, in a sentiment that is echoed across each family’s submitted video.

Despite visitor restrictions in assisted living communities across the country, relatives are finding ways to connect and celebrate their family matriarchs with the help of community staff and the technology of today’s digital age.

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