Our world has learned a lot through the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve learned that life is very different when things we have taken for granted for so long are stripped away unexpectedly. Some of us have learned what a financial loss can do to our household; Essential workers have learned to sacrifice in ways they never imagined. And it’s just human nature that most people would yearn for comfort from their loved ones and friends in these times of uncertainty – to visit with them, to get a big hug, to shake someone’s hand. Just being able to stand less than six feet from someone would be nice. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that’s been taken away for the time being.
Luckily, we live in the age of technology where communication is literally at our fingertips. While calling or texting someone is nice, there’s nothing quite like actually getting to see the faces of your loved ones and friends in a time that feels so lonely. With the help of apps like Skype, Zoom and FaceTime, we can see children’s dimples when they smile, the growing baby bump of our first grandchild, and life events that we would have otherwise missed out on.
These times are especially challenging for long-term care residents and Sunset Home, a program of Lutheran Sunset Ministries, has been working to keep people connected. “The activities staff at Sunset Home have coordinated Skype calls with my mother weekly since we haven’t been able to visit her,” says Ron Eberhardt. “Skype has allowed us to show my mom video greetings from the four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren every week. Our hearts are blessed by seeing the joy on my mom’s face as she watches the greetings from the little ones and waves back to them on the screen.” The family enjoyed a bitter-sweet Skype call to celebrate her 95th birthday, and it was all smiles.
Sandra Smith, a family member of another resident, agrees this communication has been a blessing. “I did FaceTime with my mom with the help of the activities staff and there’s no better feeling than being able to see her and talk to her,” says Sandra. “She does not totally understand, but my time with her is precious and I look forward to being able to see her in person one day soon!”
Ron stated, “We appreciate Lutheran Sunset Ministries for providing assurance to us that they are thoughtfully and lovingly caring for my mother. You ALL, including nurses, their assistants, therapists, wound specialists, food preparers, housekeepers, doctors, maintenance, activities staff, and administrative staff, are truly an answer to our prayers and a tremendous blessing to our family!”
Article by Andrea Hampe, LSM Marketing Director and Independent Living Manager.by