Addressing the need to help families communicate with loved ones in nursing homes, Connecticut’s Department of Health has introduced more technology. Specifically iPads, 800 of them. They were distributed Saturday to several Connecticut nursing homes, in hopes of providing residents with better quality of life.
“In time for Mother’s Day,” said DPH IT Director, Vanessa Hinton. “We’re hoping a lot of grandmas and grandpas get to Facebook with their loved ones.”
Since March, have families not been allowed to visit their loved ones inside Connecticut nursing homes. Personal interaction has been at a minimum.
“It’s very tough for the residents because their families can’t visit,” said Lewis Abramson, Administrator at Mapleview Health & Rehab in Rocky Hill. “They haven’t been able to come in for a very long time and they miss their families.”
Saturday’s distribution could alleviate some of that strain being felt by families and residents.
“This helps a lot with people's depression and being able to at least interact with their families that they haven’t been able to see,” said Donna Stango, Administrator at Grandview Rehab in New Britain.
The 800 iPads were paid for by DPH’s Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Fund. It is money that was previously collected from nursing homes for various fines. The new devices will belong to the facilities for residents to use.
“We did have a couple at the facility already, but with the extra ones we’ll be able to do a lot more, residents being able to talk to their families,” said Stango.
The distribution coincides with a DPH order Saturday, requiring all facilities to not only allow the use of technology, but to also coordinate times for families to communicate.
“(Families) call. We set up a schedule so that we can give them at least some time to spend with their loved ones,” said Abramson.
According to the DPH, the iPads will not be limited to communication usage. They hope residents will also use them for educational and entertainment as well.