Ebensburg, Pa–Mother’s Day is a special day for senior communities. Families often drive long distances to see mom or grandma. It is the busiest day of the year for visits to senior communities and senior moms look forward to it as the unofficial first day of spring.

This Mother’s Day, despite COVID19 challenges, the Cambridge Ebensburg parking lot filled up before noon. Folks stayed inside their vehicles after parking–a key difference from years past when they walked right into Cambridge Ebensburg. Instead, they listened to the radio and waited for their turn inside the Cambridge Hideaway.

The Hideaway is the product of Cambridge Ebensburg’s determination during COVID19. It’s a small alcove on the outside of the Cambridge Ebensburg building which provides shelter and comfort for families as they communicate with residents through building windows–the only safe way for seniors to see outsiders right now.

The Hideaway doesn’t feel temporary–it looks cozy. That’s thanks to the skill of facilities manager Paul ‘Possum’ Geschke who put it together. His design uses the large beauty salon windows as a portal between the two worlds. Visitors use a baby monitor to communicate with residents safely on the other side of the windows.

“Family visits are so important to our residents. Not everyone is able to get on Zoom,” says Cambridge Ebensburg Administrator April Adams. “We thought that with Mother’s Day approaching if there was something we could do to make visits possible then we should do it.”

Once chairs and a coffee table and a homemade sign occupied the Hideaway, Cambridge Ebensburg activities director Carol Dietscreek started calling families. Cambridge Ebensburg was open for Mother’s Day visits–if families were willing to “hideaway.”

And they were. Almost every family contacted waited in the Cambridge Ebensburg parking lot on Sunday for their turn with mom or grandma. A small miracle. 

What’s next for the Hideaway?

“We’ll probably leave it up until the weather turns nicer,” says April Adams. “That way people won’t feel discouraged when they think about visiting.”

Cambridge Ebensburg is a senior care and memory care facility located at 4848 Admiral Peary Hwy in Ebensburg, Pa. For more information, visit CambridgeLiving.org.