Spectrum Therapeutics, the medical division of Ontario-based Canopy Growth, is reaching out to seniors in long-term care with a gift of iPads.
The company has donated 57 iPads to the 21 long-term care homes it has been working with, in an effort to respond to the isolation that seniors are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I have a colleague who was telling me that he wasn't able to talk to his dad except when one of the nurses at his dad's long-term care facility, in full PPE, would hold her phone up for him and connect them. That's what sparked the idea," said Hilary Black, chief advocacy officer with Canopy Growth.
The donated iPads are all on stands that can be wheeled around, and allow for each unit to be sanitized, so residents can safely connect with loved ones.
One of the recipient long-term care homes in this region is Rosebridge Manor in Jasper. It received two new iPads.
"The donation is very much appreciated and the iPads will be used," said Tracy Foster, administrator at Rosebridge Manor.
According to Foster, the facility already has a number of iPads and computers that residents can use to stay connected with family members who are too far to visit or are unable to visit, but there is always room for more. The new iPads have been received but aren't being used quite yet.
"We still have to get them set up, firewalled and basically they have to go through our IT department before they can be rolled out to residents," said Foster
At the same time, the home, which hasn't had any COVID-19 cases, has been managing in-person visits as much as possible.
"We've been able to accommodate all of our residents' needs with regard to visits, and we do try to schedule visits with family members whenever they are requested within strict provincial health and safety guidelines," said Foster.
Spectrum Therapeutics's gesture is intended to alleviate some of the isolation that seniors in some long-term care homes have experienced. The hope is to improve seniors' quality of life as fall and winter approach, said Black.
The company also hopes this small gesture will have a snowball effect.
"We hope our efforts inspire others to reach out and offer support to the long-term care homes in their communities," said Black.
Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative, Brockville Recorder and Times