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Creative ways to stay connected

Ketchikan | June 15, 2020
Sister visits brother in long-term-care facility behind glass
Until COVID-19 is no longer a threat, residents do what they can to connect with loved ones.

Of all the many obstacles caused by COVID-19, one of the hardest has been the closure of New Horizons Long Term Care to visitors. Since mid-March, friends and families have not been able to visit residents in person.

Staff members at New Horizons have found a way for people to see each other, even if they can't touch.

Activities Director Marguerite Auger explains, "We arrange visits on our back patio." (People can make an appointment by calling 941-228-8300 x7530.)

"Visiting hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. We escort visitors to the back patio where they can be with their resident who will be in an enclosed area."

Online visits via Facebook, Skype, and Zoom are also available.daughter sings happy birthday to mother through glass

"We know it's incredibly difficult for family members," she says, "Everyone longs to give hugs, but we just can't right now."

Marguerite cited a recent outbreak at a transitional care center in Anchorage where a dozen cases were diagnosed in residents and staff. Some studies estimate that 40% of US deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

"We just can't take that chance," says Marguerite. So in the meantime, online and "through the glass" connections are available to help everyone feel a little closer.

Photos from top:  Frank Peters and his sister Abby Kosmo; Geri Metcalf and her daughter Nellie Marshall who came by to sing Happy Birthday.


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