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Staying connected with family during a pandemic

Family means everything, and it’s hard to put into words just how much our loved ones mean to us. They are the support systems we rely on, the shoulder we can cry on, and the ones who know us best. For families whose loved ones live in one of two Carefor residential care homes in Pembroke, staying connected has never been more important.

Mental health in seniors has been a hot topic since the onset of the pandemic, and for good reason. Seniors, especially ones who live in retirement residences, continue to struggle in finding safe ways to engage in recreational activities. Largely, it has been their immediate family members who provide them comfort and relief during these uncertain times.

That said, the road to connection hasn’t always been easy for many families, many of whom don’t have the means to stay connected with their loved ones from a distance. For that reason, Program Manager Steve Fortin made it his mission for both residential care homes in Pembroke to be equipped with a handful of secure tablets.

Carefor’s partnership with Aetonix Systems Inc., using their Aetonix aTouchAway platform has allowed residents and their families to connect, while ensuring the safety and security of their health information.

“We could see our residents feeling lonely, and we wanted to leverage safe and secure systems so that if residents and families want to connect, they have that option,” Steve said.

He says the reaction from residents and their families has been extraordinary: “We noticed how the mood has changed. They are much happier now that they’re in regular contact with their family. Some used to chat with their families only a few times a year, and now it’s a few times a week. That means a lot.”

Not only has COVID-19 allowed us to leverage technology to connect more often than before, but it has also put into perspective the value of being close with our loved ones and the importance of local support systems.

One resident’s family member commented: “The past year has been very hard, I’ve learned not to take any of these relationships for granted anymore. It’s easy for a care home to say they are caring during these times, but to see that a loved one is actually being healthy and cared for, it means the world.”

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