Virtual Visits for Nursing Home Residents Are Keeping Families Connected

Mar 20, 2020Facilities, News & PR, Press Releases

Loretta Panfil is pictured talking to her family as part of Catholic Health’s new “virtual visits” initiative. Assisting her is Activity Aide, Lori McQuiller.

Prior to Governor Cuomo’s directive last week to restrict visitors in nursing homes, Catholic Health was putting plans in place to protect patients and residents at its four nursing homes and one adult care community, including suspending visitation.

At the same time, we understand how important visits with family and friends are to the well-being of our nursing home residents. Catholic Health leaders and nursing management, in conjunction with Catholic Health’s IT team, immediately looked at technology solutions that would enable virtual nursing home visits.

“We know the virus seriously affects the elderly more than any other age group, so we believe these prudent measures need to be taken, and while everyone agrees this is the best thing to do for our residents and patients, it is incredibly difficult for families to be kept away from their loved ones. We’re working hard to ease the concerns of family members by providing them with regular updates and giving them the opportunity to stay engaged with their loved ones during this unprecedented situation.”

Tom Gleason

Senior Vice President, Home & Community Based Care, Catholic Health

Using Technology to Stay Connected

Nursing homes across the country are on high alert because of evidence of the considerable risk Coronavirus poses to the elderly population. Because visitors are so important to the welfare of the elderly, Catholic Health came up with a plan to use iPads to offer virtual visits at its nursing homes, subacute rehabilitation facilities and adult care community.

Over the past several days, Catholic Health purchased 20 iPads and quickly deployed them at its four long term and subacute care facilities – Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park, McAuley Residence in Tonawanda, Mercy Nursing Facility at OLV in Lackawanna, and St. Catherine Labouré Health Care Center in Buffalo – and St. Francis Park adult care community in Hamburg.

“The iPads are a great way to help families keep connected until the visitor restrictions are lifted,” Gleason added. 

Staff at the facilities have been trained to use the iPads, along with Catholic Health’s video conferencing capabilities, to give nursing home, adult care residents and subacute rehabilitation patients the ability to have a video visit with their family members and loved ones.

Virtual Visits

If you have a family member or loved one in one of long-term facilities and you’d like to arrange a virtual visit, give the location a call and we’d be happy to set that up for you.

  • Father Baker Manor: (716) 667-0001
  • McAuley Residence: (716) 447-6600
  • Mercy Nursing Facility at OLV: (716) 819-5300
  • St. Catherine Labouré Health Care Center: (716) 862-1450
  • St. Francis Park: (716) 649-1205