CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Few have suffered more through the coronavirus pandemic than senior citizens.
They were most at risk and often shut-off from the outside world.
There have been countless stories of families persevering and making connections despite physical barriers.
Nothing stops Frank Notaft from visiting Lake Pointe Senior Care in Clinton Township.
Every afternoon is the same. He drives from Warren, sets up a tent, chair, heater and radio to meet with his wife of the past 60 years.
Prior to the pandemic, 83-year-old Notaft would come to have lunch, dinner and to hold 80-year-old Nikki’s hand to walk the hallways.
The pandemic meant they could no longer physically touch, but he couldn’t stay away.
The love story is well known inside Lake Point Senior Care and outside. As people on Harper Avenue have noticed Notaft and have wanted to help.
“A lady gave me the tent,” Notaft said. “Someone brought me cookies one day.”
Their son Gary built a platform so his parents could see eye-to-eye.
Notaft said Nikki suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t always know what they talk about in the hours he sits outside her window, but he said she know he’s there and will continue to come as long as he’ able.
Michael Perry, the CEO of Nextcare Health Systems -- who owns and operates Lake Pointe -- said that with the guidance of the CDC and MDHHS, some restrictions inside nursing homes are easing, which means Notaft may be able to hug his wife sometime soon.