How you can help seniors in care connect with loved ones during the pandemic

By | April 13, 2020

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba organization is working to help seniors living in care homes connect with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Long Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba is seeking iPad and tablet donations to help the 12,000 seniors in care who can’t have visitors during this time.

“It’s really critical that we find a way to connect them with those loved ones and family,” said Jan Legeros, the association’s executive director.

She said loneliness and boredom are the biggest challenges for seniors in care, which is something staff works to combat every day.

“Nothing replaces family and loved ones and seeing their faces and hearing their voices,” she said.

“It’s just so important to help the seniors maintain that time and place orientation.”

Legeros said the organization is currently facing a shortage of tablets, an item that wasn’t of critical important in the past.

“We’re finding ourselves in a situation where we have to make appointments with families because there’s a shortage of devices,” she said. 

“If we had more of the devices we could connect more of the residents more often.”

The association is looking for donations of about 350 tablets, which would give a ratio of about one tablet per 25 seniors. It is accepting new and refurbished technology, and is only taking used ones if they’ve been cleared of personal data.

There are three drop-off locations: Siloam Mission Donation Centre at 309 Logan Ave. in Winnipeg (Entrance is on Stanley Street); Riverwood Square at 1778 Pembina Highway; and Hillcrest Place at 930 26th St. in Brandon.

“When you can see the look on their face when they have not seen a family member for quite a period of time and then all of a sudden can see them on a tablet it just makes such a profound difference,” said Legeros. “The connection is evident immediately.”

– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.

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