Wailuku Parade Reconnects Families After Nearly Three Months
It was a day filled with emotion and excitement during a parade event held at the Wailuku campus on June 5th (click here to watch a video of the parade). Residents were lined around the driveway waving signs and throwing kisses and shakas as family members drove by to greet them after almost three months apart.
Throughout the hour, over 50 decorated cars, motorcycles and even pet turtles joined in the parade sparking smiles and energetic dancing from residents. One family remarked that Grandma, who has become forgetful recently, immediately recognized them and got excited, “She was dancing and literally walking to our truck!” explained Gary Fukuroku, son of resident, Yaeko Takahashi (pictured above).
Local Maui businesses also came out to show their support and spread aloha to the kūpuna. There were drive through visits from Caring K9s Therapy Dogs Maui, who prior to the pandemic would provide therapy dog visits to residents; Gammie Homecare; and even firefighters from the Wailuku Fire Station. Residents were also treated to some specialty fries during the festivities, compliments of Maui Fresh Streatery.
While many businesses are slowly starting to reopen their doors, Hale Makua will continue to take necessary precautions to protect high, at-risk residents and continue to restrict outside visitations at this time as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i (HAH). In lieu of in-person visitations, video calling stations have been setup and photos of residents and activities in the facility (like today’s event) are regularly posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages (@halemakua). Staff also keep residents engaged and entertained through meaningful, physically distanced activities such as bingo and lei making or fun competitions like egg drop challenges and scavenger hunts.
These parades have been extremely meaningful for the residents and families, and future parade visitations are being planned to allow families to once again safely reconnect in person.