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Assisted living facilities turn to Facetime, Zoom to keep seniors connected with their families

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Posted at 9:00 PM, Apr 05, 2020

In a time of isolation, it's technology that let's seniors in assisted living facilities know they're not alone.

Caregivers are relying on video conferencing apps like Zoom, Facetime and Skype in order to keep seniors connected to their families.

Timothy Jennings, assistant administrator at Ingleside Assisted Living in Atascadero, said residents are now adjusting to video visits as the new normal.

“We obviously don’t want to separate the families, but we also need to do what’s best for the residents, too,” said Jennings.

According to Jennings, residents are still able to play games or have dinner together while following social distancing as best as they can.

Jennings said the only visits allowed are for those who are in hospice like situations.

Family members for those patients are asked to wear protective gear and are only allowed to enter through the private door to the room belonging to their loved one.

Jennings added that virtual calls and activities have helped maintain a stable routine for the residents.

“We take them outside on the ground of the facility, so we go on walks on our grounds, we listen to music on our ground, so we still do things to try and maintain that moral,” said Jennings.

Another administrator, Angela Hopkins of Compass Health, said some family members have dropped off laptops or other electronics to help facilitate the online visits, but some are using window visits primarily.

“They are keeping their social distancing, but at least being able to see and hear their loved one in real time has been really popular,” said Hopkins.

Hopkins said that although many aspects of assisted living has drastically changed recently, there have been some positive outcomes.

“We have been able to develop a new normal and a new bond with some of the family members,” said Hopkins.