As we age, more of our elders reside in seniors communities or retirement homes, where they can maintain some independence while having the reassurance of others around them if they need assistance. When they need more care, they are often moved into a senior care home, where caregivers assist in daily living and family can come and visit. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has severely impacted our elders - probably more than any group. Retirement and nursing homes have been the site of many community outbreaks of the virus and lockdowns have been enforced, keeping family and loved ones out of the homes.
For those living in senior homes, VidHug has become a lifeline. Group videos from loved ones have provided a way to create meaningful and life-sustaining connections for those who have been so isolated and even confined to their own room for most of a year.
Valentine’s Videos for Long Term Care
This Valentine’s Day, we partnered with the Sherbooke Long Term Care facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to send some love and support to the Elders who reside there. Working with the kind and devoted management team at Sherbooke, we offered family and friends the opportunity to create a VidHug group hug for their loved ones in the residence. Sherbrooke had just experienced their first outbreak, two weeks before Valentine’s, meaning they had to tightly quarantine an entire wing. Organizers shared their group hug links with the Sherbrooke staff who were able to visit the residents and play their group hug videos and brighten their day.
Community Support for Seniors in Lockdown
Mrs. Eva Salinas celebrated her 102nd birthday on April 23rd. She lives in a nursing home in Lansing, Michigan that has been locked down for over a year. Mrs. Salinas is a widow, with no children, whose siblings are in their 80s and 90s, living across the country and unable to look after her. Fortunately, a kindly neighbor has adopted her and has been looking after her since 2019. Traci Ruiz was a police officer for 25 years. She met Mrs. Salinas at a Latin church festival in 1993 and checked on her often throughout her career on the police force. When Mrs. Salinas fell and was no longer able to live on her own, her Spanish-speaking brother pleaded for help navigating the system to find the care that Mrs. Salinas needed. Traci, now retired from the police force and running her own business, stepped up and took over as caregiver.
Traci first made a group hug for Mrs. Salinas’s 101st birthday in the early stages of the pandemic last year. While she was confined to nursing home isolation, her VidHug group hug was one of her favorite birthday gifts and melted her heart, as it is the only way she could see community members and her church family. In November, following a fall from bed at the nursing home, Mrs. Salinas was moved to palliative care. Traci played her birthday VidHug video again and again to show her community love and support, which has helped to give her the will to live, and she has been gaining strength ever since.
Now, as lockdown orders are reinstated in various places due to new outbreaks and additional strains of the virus, Traci has made a 102nd birthday video for Mrs Salinas. VidHug makes it possible for the community and loved ones to be a part of Mrs. Salinas' 102nd virtual birthday during the pandemic. It also cheers Mrs. Salinas and lifts her spirits in lonely days because she can repeatedly watch her group hug video.
Video Gifts for Seniors
If you’ve received a VidHug group video, you know the impact that it can have. We often hear that our recipients react with tears of joy, and tell us that it is one of the best gifts they’ve ever received. Imagine how that feeling is multiplied when you’re a senior, isolated from your family, in lockdown. Start a VidHug for your special someone today!