Charlotte's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Charlotte, North Carolina | WCNC.com

Hospice nurses hold parade for Alzheimer's patients in Statesville

Friday was a rare chance for the two dozen residents of Heritage Place. They'd been cooped up for over 100 days without visitors or seeing family.

STATESVILLE, N.C. — With many people focused on getting out this weekend, some have no choice.

That includes Alzheimer's patients and other memory impaired patients living in facilities across the Carolinas. Friday, one group of patients did get out and got some surprise visitors in return.

It was a rare chance to get outside for the two dozen residents of Heritage Place, a memory care facility in Statesville. It's been more than three months they've been cooped up inside. 

"After more than 100 days of quarantine we've had no visitors, family members have not been able to see their loved ones." said Nick Nikouyeh, Director of Heritage Place

That ended briefly Friday, thanks to a group of hospice nurses and their first responder friends. 

"This is a small community so we have had many of their aunts uncles grandparents here so they know us." said Nikouyeh. 

RELATED: 38 workers test positive for COVID-19 at uptown construction site

RELATED: "It's not fair" | Salisbury couple dies weeks apart at Citadel nursing home

RELATED: 'You did a great job' | Nurse reunited with family of patient who died from COVID-19

Some in the crowd were more than friends. Family members who haven't seen their relative in months swung by to spread the love.

"I'm just so excited they did this for the community its just awesome." said a woman in the parade who didn't want to be identified.

But the patients weren't the only ones being honored.

"Some of the signs say heroes live here, it's true - my employees, my staff are heroes." said Nikouyeh. "It's chilling, its absolutely amazing to know that hospice nurses who expose themselves to all kinds of dangers, they still honor others." 

Still, the relatives of these quarantined elders may have taken away the most from this show of affection. Many of the hospice nurses who visit the Heritage Place every day were the masterminds behind today's parade.