Italian care home residents see visitors in ‘room of hugs’

Elderly care home residents in Italy shared emotional hugs with their loved ones through plastic screens in an inflatable ‘room of hugs’ in a novel way to overcome the loneliness of the pandemic. 

Residents sat opposite their visitors in the ‘rooms of hugs’ in Campania on Saturday, set up by a social services consortium to help people who cannot otherwise see their vulnerable family members. 

Wearing gloves and masks, the guests pressed their hands and faces against the plastic screen to get close to their loved ones at the start of the new year.   

Italy’s elderly population was among the first in the world to feel the full horrors of Covid-19 last February and March, and the country has the highest death toll in Europe during the pandemic.  

Reunion: A care home resident touches hands with a visitor in an inflatable 'room of hugs' in Campania in southern Italy

Reunion: A care home resident touches hands with a visitor in an inflatable 'room of hugs' in Campania in southern Italy

Reunion: A care home resident touches hands with a visitor in an inflatable ‘room of hugs’ in Campania in southern Italy 

Hug through a screen: A visitor wearing protective gear on his face and body leans over to hug a loved one behind a screen

Hug through a screen: A visitor wearing protective gear on his face and body leans over to hug a loved one behind a screen

Hug through a screen: A visitor wearing protective gear on his face and body leans over to hug a loved one behind a screen 

Two sides: A man sits in a wheelchair behind a plastic screen in the inflatable 'room of hugs' set up in the south of Italy

Two sides: A man sits in a wheelchair behind a plastic screen in the inflatable 'room of hugs' set up in the south of Italy

Two sides: A man sits in a wheelchair behind a plastic screen in the inflatable ‘room of hugs’ set up in the south of Italy 

You've got a visit: A man looks through a screen at the facility in Italy, which has suffered a huge death toll among the elderly

You've got a visit: A man looks through a screen at the facility in Italy, which has suffered a huge death toll among the elderly

You’ve got a visit: A man looks through a screen at the facility in Italy, which has suffered a huge death toll among the elderly

Touch on the cheek: A woman looks on through a curtain in the 'room of hugs' during one of the reunions in southern Italy

Touch on the cheek: A woman looks on through a curtain in the 'room of hugs' during one of the reunions in southern Italy

Touch on the cheek: A woman looks on through a curtain in the ‘room of hugs’ during one of the reunions in southern Italy 

Face to face: People get closer than they have usually been able to during the pandemic thanks to the novelty method in Italy

Face to face: People get closer than they have usually been able to during the pandemic thanks to the novelty method in Italy

Face to face: People get closer than they have usually been able to during the pandemic thanks to the novelty method in Italy

We're meeting again: The 'rooms of hugs' have been set up in care homes to combat the loneliness of the pandemic

We're meeting again: The 'rooms of hugs' have been set up in care homes to combat the loneliness of the pandemic

We’re meeting again: The ‘rooms of hugs’ have been set up in care homes to combat the loneliness of the pandemic 

Link hienalouca.com

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