Video conferencing continues to be a hit with Forest Hill residents and families

Forest Hill resident Sandra Presley is pictured here enjoying a video chat with her daughter Lori.

Time slots for Skype and FaceTime calls are being booked solid almost every day

Since Forest Hill began offering video conferencing calls to keep residents and their families connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, Craig Forrest, the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says bookings are full nearly every day.

As soon as the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in long-term care homes closing their doors to visitors in March, Forest Hill contacted families to let them know the home would be offering a video chatting service.

It took off immediately, Craig says.

“FaceTime and Skype are being offered seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., in half-hour blocks, and every day each block is spoken for, so residents and their loved ones are spending a lot of time together (through real-time video calls),” he says.

Since June 18, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care began allowing Ontario long-term care homes to offer supervised outdoor visits for residents and their loved ones, provided specific safety protocols are met.

While many residents and their families have been having these safe outdoor visits, the popularity of video conferencing for residents and their families has remained high, Craig says.

“I have one staff member doing Skype, one staff member doing FaceTime, (and) now I have a staff member doing outdoor visits,” he says.

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