Plexiglass booth allows 87-year-old in Fullerton nursing home to see family for 1st time in months

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A few sheets of plexiglass allowed loved ones to reunite at a Fullerton nursing home for the first time in months Wednesday.

Frank Vaccarello created the prototype for the visitation cube and was able to get it approved by his employer Super Color Digital, a printing company with offices in Irvine that has been creating protective products amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Vaccarello and his sister Ginny were able to use the creation to visit their 87-year-old mom Rosalie for the first time since the outbreak began.

The booth with a beach-scene backdrop was set up in the courtyard of her nursing home, The Pavilion at Sunny Hills. Rosalie sat inside, surrounded by her family on the outside.

Rosalie has a speech impediment due to her late-stage Parkinson’s disease, making it nearly impossible to converse without being face-to-face, Ginny Vaccarello said.

“The phone, when we talk the whole conversation is, ‘Mom, I can’t understand you. I’m sorry mom, what did you say?’” she said. “At least now I can see her, and I know what she’s telling me.”

The nursing home decided to buy a cube of its own so other residents can have the same experience. Visitors can schedule an appointment, and slots are fully booked up for its first few days in action, executive director Wes Jones said.

“It will be fun to see the families get to see their loved ones,” he said. “I mean, most of them haven’t seen them other than through a FaceTime or an electronic device for over two months.”

Super Color Digital is also selling the visitation booth to other nursing homes for around $700.

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