Virtual family reunions: seniors in the kronach district are now online

virtual family reunions: seniors in the kronach district are now online

You are moving!" Sigrid schodel’s first reaction is between joy and amazement when she sees her daughter on the tablet screen. "I’m still from the generation that has no connection to the internet", explains the 75-year-old. "But I get a lot more out of it than when we just talk on the phone, the senior citizen is happy.

For three weeks now, all bavarian senior citizens’ homes have been under a ban on visitors. No one who doesn’t work there can get in anymore. For residents, that’s three weeks without comforting hugs from the kids, three weeks without kisses on the cheek from the grandkids.

Nothing can replace these transports. But the staff of the BRK senior citizens’ homes in kronach and ludwigsstadt have found a way for residents to still see their loved ones at home – live and in color: they offer video chats over the internet.

Employee had the idea

Wolfgang stumpf works in the IT department of the BRK and had the simple but brilliant idea. "I knew we had tablets that we could make available to our nursing homes."

At the moment, each of the two houses has a device. If relatives want to chat with one of the residents, they can call the home and make an appointment. The employees then help the seniors to take the video call.

Like sigrid schodel, most residents hadn’t had much to do with the internet before. The excitement was all the greater when they discovered what modern technology can do. "This is really a great thing. We noticed that it did her a lot of good and that she was really happy to see us again, schodel’s daughter andrea schulz reports "especially her grandson, who is currently studying for his exams at home."

And apparently the new experience has made an impression. "My mother is now having a little trouble with forgetfulness. But when we chatted the second time, she could still remember the first time exactly."

Fredi thomas is also enthusiastic about the new way of contacting the outside world. So far, an old work colleague has visited him several times a week. "I told him to please download the program so that we could chat as well."

Not seen for three weeks

Hademunde schroppel has also tried it out. "We do pass the time here, but we often play human-interest games." But of course this does not replace the regular visits of her daughter and grandchildren. Because even though they live only a few houses away, they can’t meet each other at the moment. "Otherwise, I often bring them home or we go shopping together. Now I have not seen my mother for three weeks. "

The surprise was all the greater when the game of mensch-argere-dich-nicht at the ludwigsstadt retirement home was spontaneously interrupted and hademunde schroppel got the tablet printed in his hand. The 83-year-old saw not only her daughter standing in the garden, but also her three grandchildren jumping on the trampoline. "My daughter is currently on short-time work and my grandchildren have to study at home. We told each other how we were doing. I liked that."

The situation is not easy for relatives and residents. "Grandchildren, brothers and sisters – no one comes anymore", reports gerhard klug. The former messner of the ludwigsstadt church congregation recently chatted for the first time with pastor jessica rebekka pohlmann. "I find it quite successful. It’s amazing what technology can do. I will definitely continue to use it."

For the 88-year-old it was also the first video chat. "That was quite sub, because mr. Klug first had to see how to hold the tablet, sometimes covering the camera lens with his finger", says the pastor, who praises above all the commitment of the BRK staff in these challenging times. "They offer many employment opportunities there. But of course it is something completely different to be able to talk to the relatives and to see them."

The video chats are also a great way for seniors who can’t talk on the phone as well as they used to. "By seeing their loved ones, they have the opportunity to communicate with them in a completely different way."

Birth pit via video chat

Because pohlmann is currently unable to deliver her birthday wishes to the nursing home residents in person, she now sends them virtually: "I’m about to have a video chat with a senior citizen who is celebrating her 88th birthday today. Birthday celebrations."

The seniors in the ludwigsstadt nursing home certainly don’t let it spoil their mood. "We are trying to make the best of the situation", emphasizes leader peter schulz. In the meantime, the live videos are properly popular with its residents.

And even if the ban on visits is lifted again – hopefully soon – modern technology will continue to be used. "Earlier, the son of a couple from vienna called", reports schulz. "Of course, he can’t visit his parents that often, so he will surely communicate with them more often this way now."

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