When Millie Erickson’s family and the staff at her nursing home in the US were forced to shelve plans for a big 100th birthday bash due to the current coronavirus pandemic, they simply had to get creative.
The matriarch’s relatives and Michele Morin, who handles marketing and communications for Sterling Village, put their heads together to come up with an alternative that showered Millie with the love she deserves while adhering to the facility’s COVID-19 visitation restrictions.
“I enjoyed working with the Erickson family to help put this into action,” Michele told Yahoo Lifestyle US.
“Because of the new restrictions, we had to improvise.”
Instead of the party, the Erickson family gathered outside the home to wave, cheer and sing “Happy Birthday” to the newly-minted centenarian on the other side of the window.
“The look on Millie’s face was priceless,” Michele said.
“As per Sterling Village birthday protocol, she was asked what she wanted for dinner and she chose scallops. ‘Big ones. Fried.’ To wash them down, we got a doctor’s order for an 8 oz. (230 ml) glass of Moscato.”
An overnight celebrity
A sweet video of the moment was uploaded to Facebook showing the lady of the moment holding a sign saying, ‘Today is my 100th birthday!!’ with one hand and blowing kisses to her loved ones with the other.
Facebook users have since flooded the comment section with birthday wishes and heartwarming messages of support.
“I love this,” wrote one.
“My heart is so happy to see this much love and support!” said another.
Michele reported that Millie became an overnight celebrity at Sterling Village and is revelling in the attention.
Look after your loved ones
Gary Erickson, Millie’s son, told Yahoo Lifestyle US that his mother was overcome with emotion over the celebration and reiterated the importance of showing your face to your loved ones, whether they’re in nursing homes or in self-isolation.
“People that are...under quarantine, maybe others can tell them that everything’s OK on the outside,” he said.
“It helps people though when they can visually see it. When she visually saw us, that was a sign of relief.”
This story was originally published on March 18, 2020.
Additional reporting by Megan Sims.
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