Hospice care center provides comfort through communication

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 5:10 AM CDT
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The pandemic has caused stress on us all, but in particular it's been difficult for the elderly population at nursing facilities and assisted living homes. Moments Hospice is putting technology to the test.

In an effort to keep family connected and caregivers informed, a local facility turned to a telehealth system during the pandemic.

"That's good I get to see you and yeah I get to see you,” said Frances Mezra and his daughter Pam during a video chat. "I don't get to have those bear hugs, Dad is known for his bear hugs” Pam added.

Together it has been a waiting game for the pair, waiting for hugs and waiting to be reunited. "I always take them out to Randy's to eat on the weekend and they love doing that,” Pam said. But their weekly visits came to halt, with COVID-19 safety measures in place, turning their lunch dates into virtual visits. "It's different,” Mezra said. “So you just make the best of it."

When the pandemic hit, Moments Hospice knew they needed something special to get their patients through. “A lot of isolation, staying away from people and that is hard especially on the geriatric population,” said Alex Strand, a hospice care consultant.

They partnered with Health Recovery Solutions to get tablets that help take vitals and allow video chat. "It's a really good way to have that 24/7 connection with the clinician and your loved one,” Strand said.

The telehealth system is bringing comfort through communication. "I can see that he is healthy and just as ornery as ever,” Pam said with a big smile. They are using technology to make the most of their time. "It's nice to be able to hear him to look at him, Pam said. And being patient until the waiting game is over. "Bye Pam, I love you,” Mezra said at the end of the call.