Online Originals: Nursing home residents are greeted virtually by loved ones

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – People in nursing homes can’t have in-person visits with families or friends because of the coronavirus, but many facilities are turning to technology to connect their residents with loved ones.

Workers at Macgregor Downs Health and Rehabilitation are using programs like Facetime and Zoom to let residents see their families.

  “I can tell you that it is something that touches your heart in so many ways. You look at their faces and you look at their eyes and it tells a story,” Kerry Edwards MacGregor Downs Health Rehabilitation Activity Director.

 Macgregor Downs bought the equipment needed for these online connections.

“We’re very fortunate that our company got iPads for us and set up the Zoom accounts for us. Our Zoom calls start all the way back early on in March,” said Edwards.

 Virtual sessions can last from a few minutes to half an hour. They give residents time to catch up with family.

 “We let them talk until they are finished. It might be five minutes for some, and it might be 10 minutes,” said Edwards.

Workers and other residents are helping when needed.

 “The residents that are able to do it are the ones that we help do it. Maybe they want to talk and we help them hold the phone for them, or they talk to one and we help them fill in the conversation for them as they talk,” said Edwards.

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