The spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has resulted in heavy restrictions on nursing homes in regards to visitation. With this, social isolation and family time are major challenges. This lack of interaction greatly affects mood, emotional health, and healing for residents.

The staff of Mennonite Home looked to technology to bridge the gap.

With collaboration between Mennonite Home Life Enrichment staff, administration, and the Information Technology staff, Mennonite Home put in place a program where family members could have a “virtual visit” with their loved one. Through the use of programs such as Facetime and Skype, residents are able to chat with their family members on iPads or computers.

“It was priceless,” said Sylvia Ferch, Mennonite Home Life Enrichment Director, of the first virtual visit. “The tears on both of their faces was something that touched our hearts. (The daughter) was ever so grateful to see her dad and talk to him ‘live’.”

Sylvia said Mennonite Home sent emails to family members informing them of the new program and the response has been great.

“Oh my goodness the reaction has been very emotional with positive replies from the families,” she said.