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MOTHER’S DAY: Seniors look forward to reuniting with family

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Inside the corridors, and in between the cross stitch, there's a buzz of excitement among residents at Riverbend Assisted Living and Memory Care.

"All of these other people are so excited," 85-year-old resident Barb Floden said. "And I'll tell you what, you talk to them and they just -- we can't believe it. After being closed up for a year."

Mother's Day is just around the corner -- and after a trying year of separation, residents, like Floden, get to celebrate with their families again.

"It will kind of seem like a dream," she said. "We just waited so long."

Floden and her husband of 64 years will get to live that dream this weekend. But, as so many painstakingly remember, that dream was seemingly far out of reach this time last year.

"Families couldn't come in at all," Riverbend Marketing Director Kim Holst said. "We could only do zoom calls or outdoor visits. And that was hard."

"But, we knew it was the way we had to stay safe for us and everyone else," Floden said, in reflection.

Now, residents can have up to three family members visit at a time. Or, leave and make a visit to them. Loosened restrictions are a sigh of relief for not only residents, but staff as well.

"Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel has been a God send for us," Holst said.

While COVID isn't over yet, Floden's infectious positivity and patience has kept her going.

"We count our blessings and more blessings to come. All the time," Floden said. "To me, the most wonderful thing you can have, is to see your family."

"You see life and light in their eyes," Holst said. "They can dine together now. They can do activities. They still have to have their masks on in the building. But, you hear more laughter. And that's a huge thing for us."

Beret Leone

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