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A care home created a plastic 'happiness bubble' to let residents safely see and touch their family again

INSIDER logoINSIDER 5/28/2020 clopez@businessinsider.com (Canela López)
Reuters/Pascal Rossignol/Johnny Cotton/Lucien Libert/Michaela Cabrera © Reuters/Pascal Rossignol/Johnny Cotton/Lucien Libert/Michaela Cabrera Reuters/Pascal Rossignol/Johnny Cotton/Lucien Libert/Michaela Cabrera
  • A French senior care home developed a plastic "happiness bubble" to help residents safely see their loved ones and friends during the pandemic. 
  • One side of the bubble is a sealed room where residents can safely sit across from their loved ones, separated by a wall of plastic, retirement home director Audrey Bernard told Reuters.
  • Loved ones who haven't seen or touched each other in months can now do so safely through the plastic sheet.
  • Senior homes and care facilities have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, so these centers are taking extra precautions to protect their residents. 

A senior care home in France created a plastic bubble to let residents safely see their loved ones and friends during the pandemic. 

The "happiness bubble" allows loved ones to safely sit across from each other while divided by a wall of clear plastic, reported Reuters. 

"The bubble is a bit magical because it allows you to have the impression that you're touching each other, given that the central wall is totally flexible," Retirement home director Audrey Bernard told Reuters. 

One at a time, the home's residents take a seat on one side of the sealed room. Then, their loved ones enter from a plastic hallway on the opposite side of the sphere.

Inside, they can see each other, converse, and even touch hands, separated only by a thin piece of plastic. 

 

Senior care facilities and nursing homes have been hit especially hard by the coronaviruswith higher virus death rates than the average population. The World Health Organization estimated that half of Europe's coronavirus deaths were in long-term care facilities, including senior centers. 

Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, so these centers have had to take additional precautions to ensure their vulnerable residents' safety.

It means many have gone months without seeing their loved ones. 

Bernard told Reuters the lack of physical contact and in-person visits has been detrimental to the health of some residents, especially those with Alzheimer's and dementia. 

"Touch, notably with people who have Alzheimer's, is important," Bernard told Reuters. "Sometimes they can no longer talk, the only thing they can do is touch." 

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