Staying in Touch
This Easter, families aren’t able to gather and the same goes for residents at senior living facilities. Though they can’t celebrate Easter together, some have found ways for staying in touch with senior family members.
At Tabor Hills, iPads are available to their residents but aren’t the most popular tool for communication. Some families have been sending photos, like one resident’s new grandchild, so staff can print out the pictures for them.
Residents’ families also send cards and their grandchildren make artwork to put a smile on their faces.
But the newest and most popular way to stay in touch has been through “window chatting.”
“It started that we had people on the first floor, families were walking up to the window and talking through the window and I went, ‘isn’t that cool?’” said Tabor Hills administrator, Laura Weren. “And I realized our second floor residents were at a great disadvantage because that wasn’t possible so we set up an area in the back of our dining room that actually opens onto a patio and it has a small screen area so they can sit and talk.”
Tabor Hills staff had to create a calendar to space people out and taped “X’s” to the floor for visitors to abide by social distancing.
While seniors at Tabor Hills don’t rely too much on technology, that’s not the case at Monarch Landing.
“Our residents are very tech savvy so I know a lot of them are reaching out and having those interactions with their family members,” said Jason Hedman, Regional Director of IT at Monarch Landing. “We haven’t had to do a whole lot to drive that, but we’ve sent out instructions as far as how to get started with things like FaceTime and Skype.”
One event that stands out to Hedman is when he and his team were able to coordinate a Zoom birthday party for a resident turning 90. He said it was great to see four generations connected to celebrate.
Whether it’s through technology or window chatting, seniors and their families are making sure they stay connected through this difficult time.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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