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Glancer Magazine

15 FASCINATING FACES OF THE YEAR | Emily Johnson of Yorkville

by Kristen Kucharski


Each year Glancer Magazine features a distinct group of residents who are doing extraordinary things, making a difference in the lives of others by giving them hope, guidance or inspiration. Each is so talented and has persevered through all that COVID-19 has presented this past year. Their stories will touch your heart and awaken your spirit. Here are Glancer Magazine's 15 Fascinating Faces of 2020.

Emily Johnson

YORKVILLE–Being the Executive Director of Cedarhurst Senior Living in Yorkville has been an incredibly stressful job in 2020 trying to keep residents safe and healthy while living up to their mission of “creating communities where each person feels loved, valued, supported and able to live life to the fullest.”

It’s hard to live a full life when you can’t leave your room or receive visits from those you love most, so when a Cuddle Curtain in the United Kingdom had popped up on her social media news feed, Emily knew without a doubt that they needed one at Cedarhurst.

“There has been plenty of research around the need and benefits for physical touch for most humans, and a cuddle is the best way to achieve many of those results,” Emily says. “Our seniors here have been fantastic in staying quarantined and protecting themselves and others, so it’s more important now than ever that we can reconnect them with their families and include physical touch in a loving, yet safe way.”

Emily enlisted the help of Yorkville local, Jeremy King who is the son of 80-year-old resident Rose King and had not been able to hug his mom in more than 8 months at the time of the request. Prior to the pandemic, Rose would get almost daily visits from several different members of her family and it was very important to her and her health to keep those bonds.

When they had finished the Cuddle Curtain, Rose was the first resident to reconnect physically with her family and was overwhelmed with emotion by the experience therefore overcoming one of the biggest challenges of 2020.

Photos by Mike Catuara


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