North Dakota nursing homes using technology to help residents communicate with loved ones

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During the ongoing pandemic long term care residents have been isolated, even from their families.

But the North Dakota Department of Human Services is making sure they get to see their loved ones.

Through CARES Act funds the department’s Aging Services group has been able to provide technology creating connection carts for residents and families.

We spoke with the Director of Aging Services who says these connection carts will help tackle the issue of social isolation that has affected both residents and their loved one’s mental health.

“This was just an opportunity for us to use technology in a way that would help people connect. And we know not everyone has access to a tablet or a phone that has this type of connectivity, so we wanted to provide that to the facilities,” said Nancy Nikolas Maier, the Director of Aging Services with the Department of Human Services.

One nursing home already utilizing the tech is the Country House Residence in Dickinson.
The facility only has 30 residents who live there.. but each person suffers from dementia or memory loss.. meaning seeing their loved one’s face is vital.

One nursing home already utilizing the tech is the Country House Residence in Dickinson.

The facility only has 30 residents who live there, but each person suffers from dementia or memory loss, meaning seeing their loved one’s face is vital.

“Memory loss and dementia, the disease process could change really fast. So your loved one can know you today then not know you tomorrow. So that’s very concerning for family members to not know where they’re at in that disease process and they’re losing that very valuable time,” shared Tessa Johnson, the Executive Director for Country House Residence.

Johnson said residents can use video chat, at anytime of the day, to talk with their loved ones.

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