In this new blog series, we want to highlight the amazing work of LTC homes during COVID-19. You are heroes and we want to help spread your shining moments in dark times.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but most of us would agree that we would rather stay close to loved ones. Residents in LTC homes are no exception; physical distancing measures have taken a toll on them and their families, but LTC homes were quick to adapt and jumped to connect residents to loved ones through technology.
The new, temporary normal is residents connecting with friends and family over video and chatting apps. Team members like recreation therapists have redefined their roles and duties to facilitate these visits, while the Virtual Visits Toolkit from Family Councils Ontario and the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils has helped LTC become more tech-savvy.
Many homes have seen an increase in virtual connections over the past month. Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto has been busy scheduling more than 400 virtual visits across their four centres. Perley Rideau Seniors village in Ottawa has their team supporting more than 250 video calls a week.
Virtual visits are keeping couples connected too! A resident at Perley Rideau Seniors Village has been using a tablet and video chats to stay connected with his wife, who lives in independent living apartments and unable to visit (see right).
Extendicare Timmins has stepped up to help keep residents connected in other ways too. They use Facebook Messenger and have created a Facebook page to help make it easier for families to stay in touch with their loved ones. Learn more about it here.
Technology is not only keeping families connected, it’s keeping residents entertained! Osgoode Care Centre’s Friday night pub nights are looking a little different these days. When the team couldn’t bring in entertainment due to visitor restrictions, they went virtual. While practicing social distancing, residents were able to enjoy snacks and live music through video chat technology. Check it out on the right:
While we can’t be together in person, it’s exciting to see the creative ways LTC homes and team members are using to keep residents in touch with their communities. Kudos to all the homes and teams that are going above and beyond to alleviate isolation and loneliness among Ontario’s residents!
Bob Henley, a resident and Veteran of the Liberation of the Netherlands, stays connected to wife Terri, a tenant in the Perley Rideau independent living apartments. Thanks to The Perley Rideau team for allowing families to stay connected. #seemecare #perleyrideau pic.twitter.com/IWSmJifNOl
— PerleyRideauSeniors (@prvhc_seniors) March 31, 2020
Is your long-term care home looking for help when it comes to setting up virtual visits? Check out the Family Councils of Ontario and Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils virtual visits toolkit: http://www.ontarc.com/covid-19/virtual-visits-toolkit.html.
Looking for additional information on supporting residents or team members? Visit the CLRI COVID-19 resources page: https://clri-ltc.ca/covid19/