BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Finding a way to stay connected is something we are all trying to do while social distancing and staying at home.
Reports show COVID-19 has a greater impact on those 65 and older and live in long-term care facilities. The Pointe at Summit Hills in Bakersfield, an assisted living and retirement facility, had to temporarily stop visitations. So, they decided to use Facebook to share some heartwarming photos and personal messages.
Benny Farillas, Executive Director at The Pointe at Summit Hills, said him and his team began thinking of a project to let families know their loved ones were okay.
The Pointe decided to take pictures with messages on them. Farillas said the project served two purposes. The first was so his team could check on residents to see how they were handling the new changes, and the second was finding a creative and personal way to tell their families how they were doing. So, his staff sat down with each resident and talked about how they were feeling.
Farillas said this project was a stepping stone to help those who possibly felt concerned or anxious with the new changes.
“For those who were concerned, for those who weren't doing very well with the change, we were going to go in and make sure that our presence was felt and we were helping them adjust. It turned out overwhelmingly that everybody was okay,” said Farillas.
As for keeping residents healthy protocols were already in place for flu season, guidelines very similar to combating COVID-19. But with new changes like wearing masks, no visitation or communal actives, Farillas said he wasn’t sure how residents would feel.
“The big one was taking bingo away. I thought there was going to be a mutiny,” said Farillas.
Although, bingo is gone for now residents still have multiple visits daily from care staff and activity coordinators among others.