Keeping Connected During COVID-19
April 28th, 2020

By Barbara Sutherland

Thanks to the tech-savvy employee care partners at Sagebrush, residents are now able to keep in touch with friends and family even when they can’t visit in person. With Alberta Health Services’ ‘no visitor’ policy for congregate living homes in place, reaching out digitally breathes new vitality into distanced relationships.

2 iPads; 5 Apps

Recreation Therapist Haley Wilde got the ball rolling, setting up the gear and adding video chat programs. “I unlocked the two iPads in our community,” she says, “and loaded them with Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Houseparty.” Each of these ‘apps’ (or applications) allows users to chat face to face via an internet video connection.

“We have a binder with times available from 9 am-7 pm on weekdays and 1 pm-7 pm on weekends where we’re able to have everything organized and scheduled,” says Haley. And with the iPads chat-ready, hospitality aides and the recreation team help residents make their connections.

Family Proud of Us for What We're Doing

“The families that we have communicated with have really enjoyed being able to still see and chat with their loved ones. One family even said they’re really proud of us for what we’re doing,” Haley adds. “After COVID-19 is done I think this is something we will continue doing, as it lets families who live far away or who can’t stop in and visit often, another way to still be able to communicate ‘face to face’ with their loved one.”

Photo: Sagebrush resident on the video chat app FaceTime to chat with family.