Winger family

The Winger family — Louie, Lyle, Olivia and John — show support for their loved one during a parade at Deerfield Ridge.

Smiles and some joyous tears were on the faces of residents and staff of Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living as loved ones paraded around the outside of the facility on May 12.

Deerfield Ridge residents were brought outside to wave to their families as they drove by in vehicles covered with posters with messages of well wishes, balloons, streamers and other decorations. Families hung out the windows of their vehicles to wave and say “I love you.”

Deerfield Ridge and other facilities in the Ridge Care Senior Living network — spanning North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia — halted their family visits on March 14 following the guidance from state and public health officials due to COVID-19, according to Ridge Care.

Deerfield Ridge is home to 61 residents, and Deerfield Ridge Director of Community Relations Candice Myers said they’re unsure of when visitation will be able to resume. So far, Gov. Roy Cooper’s phased plan to reopen the state includes three phases — all of which call for the continuation of “rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregate care settings.”

Since the facility had to pause visitations, Myers said Deerfield Ridge has tried to keep family involved as much as possible while following social distancing guidelines. Families have come to visit loved ones outside of their windows, dropped off packages at the facility and staff members try to assist residents weekly with FaceTime calls to relatives, Myers said.

To lift the spirits of the residents, staff wanted to put together something special. Myers said other Ridge Care facilities had coordinated parades, and Deerfield Ridge staff — such as activity directors Rebeccca Miller and Lorie Fidler — spent the last several weeks planning for an event.

“We wanted to brighten the residents’ day and have their families come by to show their support and love,” Myers said.

Myers said the parade was one of the most wonderful things she had ever seen and that it was a really touching moment.

“The love was incredible, you could just feel it in the air,” Myers said. “The residents were just so happy.”

To follow along with other activities at the facility, find Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living on Facebook at tinyurl.com/y93eadlq.

Lorie Fidler, Muriel Bradley

Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living staff member Lorie Fidler and resident Muriel Bradley wave as a parade of community members come by the facility.

Ruth Crowsen, Kimberly Ellis

Ruth Crowsen and Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living staff member Kimberly Ellis enjoy the parade of community and family members on May 12.

Theresa Nigro, Courtney Sanders

Theresa Nigro and Deerfield Ridge staff member Courtney Sanders wave to vehicles in the May 12 parade as they drive passed.

Greal Johnson

Greal Johnson holds a sign with the words ‘you are my sunshine’ as he watches a parade of community members on May 12.

Betty Benfield

Betty Benfield showcases a sign that states, ‘send chocolate; love you’ for a parade at Deerfield Ridge.

Chris Herman, Danny Herman

Chris Herman and Danny Herman wave streamers and blow bubbles during a parade outside of Deerfield Ridge on May 12.

William Morgan, Katie Youngblood

William Morgan and Katie Youngblood participate in the May 12 parade at Deerfield Ridge.

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