DENVER (CBS4) — Nursing homes and long-term care facilities across Colorado held the first of three clinics needed to get the COVID-19 vaccine to their residents and staff.
At Holly Heights Nursing Care Center in Denver, more than half of the staff were given the first dose of the vaccine, along with 90% of the residents.
Families with loved ones in their care hope it will be the first step to getting back to in-person visits.
Even living in Oakland, Lisa Bach has always made visiting her mother a priority.
“I had been traveling there every eight weeks to see my mom while she was in the nursing home — that was a regular trip for me,” she said.
When COVID-19 hit those trips would be few and far between.
It wasn’t until restrictions eased in October that she was able to make it to Colorado to see her mom, through a window — and then twice outdoors for a distanced and difficult interaction.
“Not being able to hug her not being able to kiss her to sit with her and hold her hand,” she said. ”It’s horrendous actually.”
Those feelings of helplessness are now replaced with a little bit of hope.
Her mother Barbara was among the first at Holly Heights to get vaccinated against the virus.
“The residents got it in their room. The three different pharmacists went room to room and administered the vaccine,” Executive Director Janet Snipes said.
Snipes says from the moment the vaccine arrived, the mood for everyone changed.
“The feeling inside the facility is so upbeat and uplifting you can’t help get the enthusiasm from that,” she said with excitement.
For her and her staff, as well as residents, it’s about returning to simple things like dining together and BINGO night.
For families it’s about getting the most important thing back.
“I can’t wait to one day give my mom a hug again,” Bach said.