Families reunite at Palolo Chinese Home’s drive-in Mother’s Day celebration

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kupuna and their loved ones were seen celebrating Mother’s Day in a special way during Palolo Chinese Home’s drive-in Mother’s Day event.

The event marks one year since PCH’s first drive-in visit, and the first time families were able to see each other in-person after PCH implemented visitation restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Some friends and family members of residents were even able to participate in a limited, in-person visit as well.

Last year in the early onset of the pandemic, families visited loved ones from their vehicles. But this Mother’s Day, there was much more interaction.

“This year, they’re opening more and we’re actually able to come outside of our car and be closer to grandma,” said Kiku Catania who was visiting her grandmother.

They’re able to do this because the facility has taken vaccinations into consideration.

Even for the Tanoue family, the situation this time around is a better experience.

“The expression of how you really love somebody, it can be expressed in words but it’s a totally different level when you get to touch and feel her,” said Paul Tanoue who was visiting his mother.

Members from the Lions Club and Palolo Chinese Home Auxiliary also showed their support and handed out Mother’s Day cards and corsages, something they couldn’t do last year.

“Just to see the look on their faces that they are so happy is very rewarding,” said Barbara Heu of the PCH Auxiliary.

“We kind of take it for granted being able to see our loved ones, hold them, touch them, hug them, and when it’s taken away, we really saw the impact it had on the residents,” said Darin Yoshimoto, PCH Administrator.

And for one mother, who was at the facility temporarily for rehabilitation, the day was filled with tears of joy.

“She’s been in isolation for 2 weeks because of COVID, but now she’s ready to come home,” said daughter Kay Mones.

“I’m grateful for the staff. They’ve been so nice but home is home,” said Jean Komenaka.

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