Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Devices for FaceTiming needed for our seniors


April 24, 2020

One of the dilemmas facing assisted-living facilities during this COVID-19 pandemic is that to protect their senior residents, facilitators have had to initiate complicated routines: Staff members and delivery persons must have his or her temperature taken before entering the premises; residents can't receive visitors; they must eat alone in their rooms and all regular social activities have been canceled. The results: Residents are spending all of their time alone.

Facilitators know that elderly people are most likely to die if infected by the virus, and yet, they are also most likely to suffer from long-term solitude and social isolation.

Here in Central Florida, Joan and Neil Okun, through the Jewish Pavilion, have a solution: a video visiting program provided by donated portal TVs, iPads or tablets-small devices that are ideal for FaceTiming-for the assisted-living communities. The portal TV is a small camera device that rests on top of or below your TV set, turning it into a video chatting device. Other means of communication are FaceTime and Zoom apps that can be installed on iPads, tablets or cellphones.

To accomplish this, the Jewish Pavilion is accepting donations of portal TVs so that seniors can communicate with their family members and their volunteer visitors.

"My mother met her great-grandson, 2 months old, on FaceTime," said Nancy Ludin, CEO of the Jewish Pavilion.

A 90-year-old woman who lives at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, N.Y., told the Washington Post she's now video chatting with her family several times a week. For her, the video calls are brand new.

"I'm old fashioned, so the FaceTime is really quite unbelievable to me," Weinhouse said.

One daughter told the Washington Post that her mother is looking and feeling better than she has in a long time since being able to communicate with the family via FaceTime.

To make a donation for the video visiting program, contact Nancy Ludin at 407-678-9363.


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