Staff Uses Technology to Connect Residents with Loved Ones
The Rolla Presbyterian Manor community has responded to social distancing guidelines by picking up new technology skills.
According to Life Enrichment Director Joy Parker, in one month staff facilitated 50 video chats: 42 through FaceTime and four each via Zoom and Facebook Messenger.
“The residents are amazed they can see their loved ones on a device,” Joy said. “One lady just said, ‘It’s like they’re in my room.’”
Utilizing web-based applications meant a learning curve for all involved, but Joy says everyone has risen to the task.
“It’s been really neat to see the residents embrace technology,” she said. “Some have gotten new smart phones.”
Staff send emails to residents’ families twice a month to offer them the opportunity to get on the schedule for a chat. They sent reminders before Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day so that family members would have an opportunity to celebrate the holidays together.
“The residents have such a positive attitude,” Joy said. “They are such a blessing.”
She jokes that she wants to be more like the residents when she “grows up.”
On top of the electronic appointments, residents also had 64 “window visits,” during which loved ones talked to residents on the phone while they watched each other through a window.
Both residents and staff are looking forward to the day when loved ones are once more welcome inside the walls of Presbyterian Manor. However, video chatting has been such a success that the staff will continue to offer the service even after COVID-19 prevention measures are lifted.
“We live in a day and time when people’s family members live all over the country, even in foreign countries,” Joy said. “It’s nice to be able to have this technology to do these kinds of visits.”
Still, everyone will be happy when video chatting is an option rather than a necessity.
“Everyone is saying, ‘I miss your hugs,’” Joy said. “I am preparing to give some really great hugs when this is all over.”
PHOTOS: Left, Edna Martin's family recently arranged for a poster parade that included family and friends. Edna was surprised when she was asked to come up to the lobby because she had guests. Right, RoseAnn Escott visits with her family virtually to stay in touch during the COVID-19 visitor restrictions.