Jan Castaline, a resident at South Portland Nursing Home waves to family, who watched from at least six feet away, during a short parade that took place on June 15. Judy Noel, activity director for the South Portland Nursing Home, said that she found it important to give staff and residents a break from what was going on in the world. Courtesy photo of Cindy Castaline

SOUTH PORTLAND — As a way to show appreciation for staff, the South Portland Nursing Home held a small parade with residents participating on June 15.

The group left the nursing home on 42 Anthoine St., reaching the corner to Willow’s Pizza on Broadway, and then turned back. Escorting the parade was the South Portland Police Department.

The South Portland Nursing Home staff and residents after celebrating on June 15 with a parade. Catherine Bart/Sentry

Activity Director Judy Noel said that June 18 is the beginning of National Certified Nursing Assistants Week, and she used the occasion as a way for residents to get outside and have something fun to do.

“I thought it was important to give our residents and staff a break of what’s been going on in the world,” she said. “We haven’t really been out because of the virus, but they’ve gone out in the backyard of the facility.”

The nursing home has not had a case of COVID-19 as of June 16, but the social distance precautions have been hard on residents and their families, Noel said. Only staff have been allowed inside the building

“It’s hard when they do the window or the FaceTime visits,” she said. “They don’t quite understand what’s going on.”

Many families who watched on the sidelines held up homemade signs that thanked staff for the work they’ve done.

After the parade staff and residents’ spirits have been high, Noel said. Many staff were talking about how wonderful the event was on social media or at work.

Noel said that she also wanted to thank the South Portland Police Department for helping the nursing home’s parade be a success.

Catherine Bart/Sentry

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