Cut off from family and friends.
That is the scenario many seniors in healthcare facilities face in the wake of concerns over COVID-19.
Scott Stevens is the Information Officer for the Overton County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Livingston. He said one way they are keeping residents spirits up is seeking new ways to do familiar activities.
“Our activities department has been pretty vigilant about keeping our distance with all of our activities,” Stevens said. “Some of the traditional things like bingo, we started hallway bingo. We separate everyone in the hallway and do traditional bingo, but we use radios so we can communicate.”
Stevens said one way the facility is keeping residents connected with their families is through video chats.
“The elderly aren’t always up to date with some of the technology we have available to us,” Stevens said, “So, when they see their family faces that pop up on an iPad, it’s kind of magical to them, and it delights the family, as well.”
Stevens said right now he has not seen much of an impact on the resident’s morale.
“I think that, for the most part, they are about the same as usual,” Stevens said. “In my opinion, I don’t see it impacting them a whole lot. It probably is more so the families that can’t get in.”
Stevens said the familiarity between the staff and residents helps in difficult times.
“Staff and nurses kind of becomes a replacement family for them, so that consistency is always there, so it hasn’t went away,” Stevens said.
Stevens said one of the main goals of the Center is to keep it fully staffed to relieve the stress on caregivers.