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Facetime and Skype to the Rescue in Nursing Homes
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
Tenafly , NJ
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Dr. Patricia A. Farrell

The coronavirus has hit those living in nursing homes or assisted care facilities the hardest. But it may not be the virus or their underlying illnesses that may prove fatal but one thing which we can remediate; loneliness.


Loneliness with its component of despair, hopelessness, and depression also has a shocking effect on the immune system. It is here that the lack of social connection with family and friends must be curtailed. Mental health appears to be sidelined at the moment, so let's do something about it.


Technology has given us the tools to skirt the isolation forced on residents of these facilities by imposed coronavirus lockdowns. Who is using it and, if not, why not?


Cell phones are readily available as are computer terminals in patient rooms or other areas of these facilities and they must be brought to bear as any healthcare remedy would.


The internal protocols of these facilities must recognize that the need to stem the loneliness and isolation is in their hands. Instead of dispensing medications and meals, they must make contact with the outside world possible.


How to Do It


First, make a list of all residents with access to cell phones. For those with no access, make one available.


Second, set up a regular schedule with family and friends outside the facility for all residents. Some may be reluctant but use your powers of persuasion to break through the depression and anxiety that must already be rearing its ugly heads in these residents. Resistance doesn't mean they don't want contact; it means they may be giving up on contacts. Don't contribute to this.


Third, for any residents who want Skype, set up a schedule for that, too.


Fourth, have a meeting of staff to inform them of the procedure and get them on board to help.


Such a small thing and it can save lives. Who is doing it now and who needs to do it?

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Tenafly, NJ
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