Humans weren’t meant to live in isolation.
The spread of COVID-19 has forced us to isolate, especially those in the most at-risk populations — seniors and those with underlying medical conditions.
That makes the challenge for nursing home patients — where visitation rightly has to be restricted — even more challenging.
But local nursing homes are doing what they can during this difficult time to connect their residents to positive messages and other forms of social interaction.
At the Rouse, people are encouraged to write to residents they know.
“With everything going on, we can’t have people physically here,” Kelsey Angove, marketing director at the Rouse, said.
But they do have an in-house channel where photos, videos, “positive greetings, that sort of thing” can be shared with residents.
So far, that’s included streaming church services, virtual tours of historical landmarks, animal videos and exercise classes or “a lot of the things we would do as in-person activities as we could,” Angove said.
“We have had many people ask how they can help,” a Rouse Facebook post explained. “We are looking for video clips of well wishes, people playing music, positive messages, etc. (YouTube preferred) and photographs of handmade cards and drawings — this is a great way to have your kids help out! We will then post these on our in house channel for residents to be able to view from their rooms.”
Anyone looking to send something can do so to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Since they can’t have physical visitors,” Angove said, “we have been encouraging family members to skype with the residents.”
Anyone who would like to video call with a family member just has to call the front desk to start the process of coordinating times.
Some family members, for example, have come and sat outside their family member’s window and talked on the phone, just to be able to see each other.
“It’s different,” Angove acknowledged. “We definitely want to make sure our residents are still getting access” to those formal activities and time with family. They’re looking for “safe, unique” wants “to get a lot of that socialization.”