With the current coronavirus pandemic, senior living communities are adhering to strict guidelines to ensure the safety and health of patients and residents, and Oak Manor Senior Living Community in Largo, Florida is no exception.
Residents of the Skilled Nursing and Rehab facility are accustomed to family members, friends and volunteers visiting daily, but these visits came to a sudden halt when restrictions were enforced to protect seniors.
Sharon Eckman, a first-grade teacher in Pinellas County, jumped in to help solve this unforeseen obstacle within just days of the governor’s announcement of visitor limitations at senior living communities. Sharon’s mom is a resident at Oak Manor, so she understands the desire to stay connected, as she has visited her mom every single day until the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.
“I was worried about not being able to see my mom for 30 days and worried she’d forget us. I’m sure a lot of people are in the same boat,” said Eckman.
She considered purchasing a phone designated for FaceTime calls with her mom, but then she decided on an iPad that could be shared with the entire Oak Manor community to solve not only her problem, but the distance challenge that many families faced.
“Being a teacher, I was thinking of the whole village and not just myself and my family.”
Sharon safely delivered the new iPad to the Oak Manor team and suggested a social media signup, and within hours, residents’ loved ones were filling the slots for FaceTime calls!
“It’s amazing to see the faces of the residents and family members when they first get to see each other. Their expressions are of total joy and happiness, and that melts my heart. I’m so thankful to be a part of bringing families back together again,” said Cindy Lewis, Oak Manor Activities Director.
With one selfless thought, one special donation and a team of compassionate employees, residents are finding a sense of comfort and normalcy during this unpredictable season.
“It’s just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! A really nice piece of equipment! I talked to my daughter, and it was like she was right next to me!” Said Walter, an Oak Manor resident.
Oak Manor resident, Essye, was able to “meet” her brand-new great-grandson for the first time with a FaceTime call on this iPad.
“It was really great to be able to see my grandson! I didn’t know that they had machines to be able to that!” said Essye.
Oak Manor Senior Living Community staff continues to find creative methods of keeping life joyful, fulfilling, and most of all, safe, for all residents. Photos, videos and important updates can be found on the Oak Manor Facebook page: www.facebook.com/oakmanorseniorlivingcommunity.
For more information on Oak Manor, please call (727) 608-2618 or visit www.oakmanorliving.com.