Residents of local nursing homes and healthcare facilities, along with area healthcare workers were treated to a special visit from the community.
Dozens of residents, businesses and first responders paraded around the city’s nursing homes and hospital as a way to say “hello” to the residents and say “thank you” to the healthcare heroes on Wednesday.
Mary Jane Salazar, director of nursing at Remarkable Healthcare of Seguin, had tears in her eyes as the last of the parade came through her facility’s parking lot.
“I want to cry. This really meant a lot,” she said. “The residents haven’t been out. We haven’t been able to take them out at all. It really means a lot to see all of these businesses come out and all of these people.”
Residents waved, smiled and cheered as the group drove past them. The parade that began at Arlen’s strolled around Hacienda Oaks, Seguin Assisted Living, Argent Court, Remarkable Healthcare, Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Guadalupe Valley Nursing Center, Nesbit Living and Recovery Center and ended at Guadalupe Regional Medical Center.
“There were so many smiles and cheers, that made me really happy,” Advanced Home Healthcare Director of Patient Care Services Misti Abrameit-Guenther said. “We had so many people reach out and let us know how much they loved it.”
The idea of a parade was started as Abrameit-Guenther began thinking about a way to honor healthcare workers. As the idea grew and as word of the parade spread, so did the level of participation.
“It was good to see the city manager, the mayor, the chief of police, our fire marshals, the deputies, the firefighters who were there to support our healthcare heroes and residents,” Abrameit-Guenther said. “All of our community members came together because they heard about it and just came. This community definitely stepped up.”
Community members who were along the parade route stopped what they were doing for the moment, stepped outside to watch and wave, Abrameit-Guenther said.
“I’m so proud of our community for coming out so strong and giving their love,” Abrameit-Guenther said. “This came together as an idea less than a week ago. I’m so thankful for this community.”
The residents also were treated to a pre-parade live performance by area singer Jay Pfiensteil.
For the past two months, residents in nursing and rehabilitation or assisted living facilities have been on lockdown, unable to visit with family or friends face-to-face.
While they were outside waiting on the parade, some were joined — at a safe distance in their vehicles — by family members.
“Many family members got to see their family members at a distance for the first time in weeks,” Abrameit-Guenther said. “They were just so thankful and grateful because they got to see them smile and see their faces. My heart is just smiling from all of the happiness I feel the parade created.”
For the staff members and the healthcare workers, it was a much-needed break from the daily routine, Salazar said.
“All of my staff has been working so hard to make sure we’re social distancing, to make sure we’re keeping them safe, so it is really emotional for me to see that they are appreciated in this way,” she said. “It was a nice break, and a good time to celebrate. I’m so proud of all of my staff and the hard work they do, and I’m super happy my residents got to experience this today.”