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Nursing home residents using FaceTime to connect during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 12:08 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 15:16:31-04

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — Right now, only residents and staff are allowed inside the Elderwood at Lancaster facility. It's an attempt to keep residents safe, and to keep coronavirus out of the home.

"As of the end of last week, we restricted visitors," explained Tara Wisniewski, the Director of Admissions & Community Relations for Elderwood at Lancaster.

The fun inside hasn't stopped. In fact this week, the residents got shamrock shakes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But many of them look forward to visits from their family members, and it's it's not easy for those family members on the outside either.

"The families - I think it's even harder for them. The residents are busy here. Their thoughts are diverted. But the families have more time at home to think about what's going on with mom or dad," explained Wisniewski.

So the staff is using the best technology has to offer to keep everyone connected. They took photos of the residents holding signs with messages like 'I miss you' and 'We're still having fun!' They posted them on Facebook for family and friends to see. This week some of the residents also tried FaceTime for the first time.

"It's been so nice to see the responses and the reactions the residents and families have," said Wisniewski. "The smiles and extra level of comfort they have seeing their loved one."

The residents also love to hear from community members, so if you'd like to reach out to them, you can go to the Elderwood at Lancaster Facebook page and send a message. The staff will read messages to the residents.