Staff at Rimbey’s Valley View Manor continue to work to help residents connect with friends and family – thanks to the wonders of technology.
Platforms like Zoom have been an increasing means of helping residents in long-term care connect with family since the COVID-19 pandemic first surfaced last March.
Over the months, restrictions have meant that visiting loved ones has been, at times, severely restricted or simply not allowed.
So the reliance on technology to help bridge that gap has been further utilized as well.
The Rimbey Lions actually donated an iPad tablet to the Manor, so we’ve been using that for Zoom,” said Anita Goetz, activities coordinator at the Manor. “Also, we use Facetime – so those are the two options that we have right now.
“We program everything in there for them – for whoever they would like to talk to,” she said. “And then we make an appointment to say, for example, ‘OK, we will meet at 1 p.m.’ We will put them through to their daughter, granddaughter or whoever they like to speak with.”
In the meantime, several residents do have smart phones of their own which they use as well to keep in touch with friends and family.
“So they can do Facetime on there, plus there are a lot of phone calls going on, too,” she added.
Zoom is a fun option of course with the ability to include several folks at once during a chat, she said. “Zoom is great for that.”
She added how tremendous it really is to be able to have these tools to keep people in touch with family during what has proven to be such a challenging year on many levels.
“With the iPhone and Facetime, you of course can see people, so things with technology have really come a long way,” she explained. “For them, it sure makes things a lot nicer.
“I know that it’s been a rough ride but for our seniors, we’ve got residents in here that have seen hard times for sure. This is a little bit different, but they know what hardship is like,” she said. “They’ve been awesome,” she added of the residents, referring to how well they have adjusted to the range of restrictions and changes in routines over the months.
“Our staff have also been troopers,” she said.
“Everyone in here has put their best foot forward – they really do. We are thankful for that. And we are giving them something new almost every five minutes – things coming down the pipe – but again they are troopers and they really give it their all,” she said.
In the meantime, staff are also working to help make the season bright as well. That includes games of bingo and ‘Ugly Sweater Day’ as well, not to mention door prizes and other goodies and treats.
“Families have been wonderful as well. They’ve been giving us cards and chocolate, which I truly love,” she added with a laugh.