Parade at Hale Makua Wailuku Reconnects Families After Nearly Three Months
After almost three months apart, family members of residents at the Hale Makua Health Services campus in Wailuku were treated to a drive through parade complete with decorated cars, firefighters, food, music and dancing.
The parade comes amid ongoing efforts to protect high-risk residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gary Fukuroku explained that while his mother has become forgetful recently, she immediately recognized him and other family members passing by.
“My mother has been here for about three years now,” said Fukuroku of his mom Yaeko Takahashi. “Once she recognized myself and my wife, Candace, she called Candace out, she remembered her. She was dancing and literally walking to our truck,” said Fukuroku.
Hale Makua continues to restrict outside visitations at this time as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i. In lieu of in-person visitations, video calling stations have been setup for residents.
“We’ve been doing virtual sessions with her, but of course she can’t hear anything I say so our sessions have been about three minutes or so,” said Fukuroku.
Another family came in multiple decorated cars with big signs in the hopes they would catch the eye of their grandmother–Marina Simon–who was admitted to the facility, as increasing concerns about the virus began.
“When my grandma saw us, she got all happy and excited. We saw tears rolling from her eyes and then it got us all happy,” said BJ Yadao.
“I just want to thank Hale Makua for putting this together and the care that they do for all of the residents, especially for my mom. And she’s very happy over here,” said Fukuroku.
A similar parade event was also held at the Hale Makua sister campus in Kahului in May–providing families a way to safely reconnect in person.
In addition to the more than 50 vehicles of family members, Maui businesses also came out to show their support and spread aloha to the kūpuna. Participants included: Caring K9s Therapy Dogs Maui, who prior to the pandemic would provide therapy dog visits to residents; Gammie Homecare; and firefighters from the Wailuku Fire Station. Residents were also treated to specialty fries during the festivities, compliments of Maui Fresh Streatery.