Virtual Visits: A New “Normal
During this challenging and abnormal time, technology has provided us with an incredible way to stay connected to the people we love and care about. While it’s not the same as a warm embrace, it does gives us the feeling of togetherness.
Virtual visits have become the new normal for Residents and Families to stay connected.
Despite the circumstances, virtual visits have been going very well. Some Residents have daily calls with their families. It all just varies by Resident and their family,” said Zach Parlier, Employee Relations and Knowledge Coordinator.
When a family wants to Zoom, Facetime or Skype with their loved one, they will request a virtual visit by reaching out to the home supervisor.
“Sometimes, as a house supervisor, I will also reach out to families and encourage them to connect virtually. Connection is everything through this very tricky time,” added Parlier.
During the virtual visits, if possible, the house supervisor will attend and support the Resident; otherwise, caregivers have training on how to help set up the calls and how to assist the Resident in communicating with their loved one. This guidance can help the virtual “visit” go smoothly for both the Resident and their loved one and can help keep conversations and engagement flowing.
Getting Used to Modern Day Technology
With these new and ever-changing technologies, it can be hard for the Residents to understand the concept of these unique virtual visits.
Virtual visits can present challenges, even for Residents who understand the concept of video chatting. Sometimes Residents can be easily distracted or distant during virtual visits. It can be hard, which is where it is helpful for the Resident to have the support of the house supervisor or a caregiver during the visit to help guide the Resident.
While it is hard to replace the actual human connection of being present, we are lucky to live in a world where technology allows us the opportunity to talk “face-to-face” without actually physically being together. It truly is a gratitude.
Zoom Birthday Bath
Celebrating birthdays have become different but nonetheless still special for
Residents who have had birthdays recently. One Resident’s family planned a big, Zoom birthday party with ten family members.
The family schedule the Zoom call and even supplied party attire for everyone on the call. The Resident also donned her very own birthday hat. The party was so special for all involved.
Parlier remembers marveling at how “normal” the entire party was.
“There were no awkward silences or lulls in conversations. The Resident and Family were engaged with each other the whole time. Everyone had the opportunity to share and connect with each other with their lives and celebrate the birthday of their Matriarch,” said Parlier.
A highlight of the party was when the family started singing happy birthday. She was so touched by their singing.
Everyone’s time was off and she thought it was hilarious as she sat and listened to her family celebrate her.
It was a normal family get together, no COVID-19, no memory care, no quarantine. It was truly a regular family gathering despite these abnormal and unusual circumstances.