With nursing homes across Kentucky closed to visitors in an effort to protect residents from the COVID–19 pandemic, area nursing homes, including Hillcrest, Corbin, Williamsburg and Barbourville Health and Rehabilitation Center, are using social media and applications such as Skype and Facetime to allow residents to have regular contact with family members.
“Obviously, they miss hugging family members,” said Gail Gibbs, administrator at Hillcrest Health and Rehabilitation. “But they are pleased to see them face to face.”
Gibbs said staff members provide the residents with an iPad and set up the call for them.
“We are doing it as often as the resident and their family would like,” Gibbs said. “Some are doing it daily. That is between the resident and the family.”
For families who don’t have the capability to do social media, the facilities are providing phone access to all residents and family members to speak.
In addition, each facility has a Facebook page where photos of residents are frequently posted.
“The staff in the nursing homes aren’t fighting the same battle that the other nurses and doctors are fighting against COVID-19. Our battle looks a lot different. We’re fighting to protect our elders from the outside world,” Hillcrest officials stated on the facility’s Facebook page.
“We will do what we can to make sure the outside world stays “outside” and our elders stay safe,” officials added.