From window visits to video technology, providers across the country are working hard to make sure residents are connected with their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
A New York provider recently implemented “drive-in” visits to keep families in touch.
“We are excited about this new initiative — and believe it helps bring families and their loved ones as close as they can get during this challenging time,” a Hebrew Home at Riverdale spokeswoman said.
The provider allows families to schedule the drive-in visits for 10 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. each weekday.
Families, who must stay in their cars during the visit, are given wireless speakers. Residents are then brought outside and given a corresponding speaker, allowing the two parties to communicate with each other without having to shout.
The visits are allowed only for residents who are COVID-19 negative. A staff member is also present during the visits to ensure visitors don’t leave their car. Anyone coming to the facility for the visits is also required to undergo a temperature check and may arrive only 15 minutes before the scheduled visit.
The drive-in program was approved by the New York Department of Health.
“It’s a real challenge to not have family come and visit but it’s the right decision for health and safety,” said David Pomeranz, Hebrew Home COO.
“For all of us, it’s quite emotional, seeing the fruit of our labor in these emotional reunions. We have somebody bringing a newborn baby this weekend, who the grandmother has never seen yet and this is how they’re meeting,” he added.