The management of a nursing home in the Italian Veneto region gave its guests the opportunity to hug loved ones again, avoiding the risk of contracting a new type of coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
The staff came up with the idea of bringing together those separated by the outbreak with glass, plastic and electronics, said the head of the institution, Elisabetta Barbato.
“We proceed from the need to find a balance between protection and the desire to meet the visitors of the nursing home and their relatives – in the fall “visits” are held indoors, which increases the rate of transmission by 20 times. Breath and sputum particles overcome 6-7 meters and can penetrate into the body. On the other hand, we notice a deterioration of health due to separation and isolation, which is very painful for the elderly.
Curtains made of flexible plastic, long gloves and even headphones for those who can’t hear well from a distance or through a fence helped to cheer up the older people. A spacious and light room of 500 square meters was converted into a hug room. Previously, it was used for church services. According to Barbato, 20 seconds of hugging will increase the level of the hormone of happiness – oxytocin, as well as serotonin and dopamine, responsible for a sense of calm and well-being.