Construction lift unites ‘confined’ OAPs with loved ones in Figueira da Foz

An elevatory construction lift has made all the difference to the lives of 150 pensioners, deprived of family visits since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March.

The lift is being used, Monday to Friday, for 18 10-minute ‘visits’ through a first floor window.

Families have rushed to sign up to the initiative, provided completely free of charge – the idea of the man running the care home in Figueira da Foz, Joaquim de Sousa.

As de Sousa told reporters, it harks back to the era when couples used to court through open windows.

“I come from that generation”, he smiles.

The Misericórdia-Obra da Figueira home is also notable for the fact that not one of its inmates has contracted the virus.

Visits now going forwards every weekday see loved-ones properly ‘masked-up’ and duly distanced from their elderly relatives.

It’s a way of relieving the stress created by the lockdown, without incurring any risk of contagion, says de Sousa. All parties are kept at a 2-meter distance, and there is no ‘common areas’ that require disinfection.

Two people are able to visit at each hoist of the platform – and the company providing the service says it never imagined it would be using its lift for such a purpose.

Filipe Oliveira, in charge of building company Qualigesso, explains: “The machine was doing nothing, so when I got the call (from the home) I was happy to lend it out. We are contributing to an effort to do good for others, and we can only be happy with this”, he told reporters.

[email protected]