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Technology brings residents and families together during pandemic

Even though residents have been restricted from having family and friends visit during the pandemic, technology is making face-to-face time possible, keeping connections safe and meaningful.

Resident John Bent has embraced using technology to stay connected with his family.

“Technology has impacted my life in a good way, because in other times it would be really hard without something like this. This kind of communication is amazing,” said John.

While he doesn’t have an iPad of his own, John enjoys using the community’s iPads so much he sees a benefit to having one.

“When my two daughters or my son want to call me, they contact staff so we can begin the visit. It is always a good feeling when they approach me and say that I have a call from them. When I see the pink iPad, oh my! It’s super and working very well. I would like to have one for myself,” said John.

For John, the video chats on the iPad are more than just seeing the faces of his loved ones.

“With this technology I am talking, seeing my kids and I can have a tour of their backyard. It brings so much joy to me. Thank you, God, because otherwise we won’t be able to communicate so easy. Thank you to the people that make this possible,” said John.

Health care resident Icyl Wood is also benefiting from technology and able to connect with her family, including a daughter as far away as Canada!

“Our first call using FaceTime was really good. It was just nice seeing her, and I think she liked that, too. She seemed to be able to hear better, since that’s sometimes a problem on the phone. I know it doesn’t help her dementia to not have contact with people who she normally would, so it’s good to see her,” said Marsha Reed, Icyl’s daughter.

Icyl enjoyed the video chat as well. While she was worried she could do it she shared, “It’s not hard, the employees set it up and it works great. It was so wonderful, and I was able to see my son-in-law also.” While she talks to her other daughter, Marilyn, on the phone, she hopes to see her face on a video chat in the near future.

Overall, residents are embracing the use of iPads to stay connected through the pandemic and it’s going better than expected.

“I think using the iPads to communicate has made a big difference. Residents are not as anxious since they are able to see their loved ones face to face and know they are OK. So many of our residents worry about their families and I think this gives them reassurance that they’re OK,” said Lisa Montoya, life enrichment director.

To set up a video chat with a loved one, call Manor of the Plains at 620-225-1928 and ask for Life Enrichment Directors Lisa Montoya or Clara Contreras. They will provide an iPad to the residents if they don’t have one along with instructions.

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