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Portage assisted living facility gets creative to have in-person visits for the holidays

Wayne Peterson, whose mother Shirley Puttkammer is in the facility, said the booth is a great...
Wayne Peterson, whose mother Shirley Puttkammer is in the facility, said the booth is a great idea.(Heritage House Assisted Living of Portage)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 3:02 PM CST
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PORTAGE, Wis. (WMTV) - After being faced with the idea that many residents at a Portage assisted living facility would not be able to see their families for the holidays, some “elves” got creative to make sure that they could give the gift of in-person time.

Team members and some of their family from Heritage House Assisted Living of Portage created a “visiting booth” that is decorated like a present, according to a news release.

The booth has a Plexiglas wall enclosure that separates visitors and residents, who are all required to wear masks. The facility explained that the team members also put in reclining chairs, a Christmas tree and a pine-scented air freshener to the space cozy for residents and family members to safely sit in person together.

Wayne Peterson, whose mother Shirley Puttkammer is in the facility, said the booth is a great idea.

“It is so great to see mom,” Peterson said. “It has been almost a year since we could visit like this. It means the world to us!”

The assisted living facility noted that the booth is so popular that they are booked through the holidays. Each visiting session is 30 minutes long, but Heritage House noted that the visits create fond memories.

Heritage House emphasized that they have additional safety protocols in place, such as limited visitors to two at a time. Each visitor is also temperature checked and given a health questionnaire before heading to the booth. The facility added that the space is also cleaned and disinfected between each visit.

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