Veterans Center uses technology to connect loved ones

Posted at 12:37 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 21:05:06-04

JESSAMINE COUNTY, KY (LEX 18) — Orders from the state and federal government have affected all Americans, but especially seniors.

For two weeks, the visitors so many seniors rely on to keep their spirits up have not been allowed inside long-term care facilities.

At Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, Kentucky, the staff has done everything they can to keep the communication flowing between loved ones.

"We've implemented the, the window. So we'll have a veteran on the inside of our window, and a family member on the outside, and we'll give them a telephone, and you know it's, we just kind of have to make make this all work in the circumstance," said Thomson Hood Veterans Center Activities Director Allison Jones.

They have also made good use of technology making FaceTime calls a regular occurrence. Although it is extra work, the staff said they do not mind.

"When we're doing this for such a good cause it doesn't it doesn't matter. You know, if we bring a smile to a resident's face because they're FaceTiming their loved one, that that makes it all worth it in the end," explained Jones. "So, even though it might be a little bit more work, you know, this is what we have to do and this is us adapting to the new norm that we have to have right now."

Eighty-one-year-old Al McDonald is one of the veterans who lives at the Center. He said although these are unprecedented times that he has never seen before, he is not really worried about his own health.

"I keep tracking it all day on TV," McDonald noted. "So, you know, I'm not so much worried about it as I am my family grandchildren. So, I mean I'm in here it seems to me like they're kind of keeping you safe in here, you know, but them kids, they're out running all over," explained McDonald. "And I'm just worried about how it's gonna turn out because it looks like it's gonna get worse before it gets better."

In the meantime, technology is helping McDonald and his wife stay in touch.

"If seeing her excited when she comes on. You know, I think I'm then excited too. So, so it's really where we have a good time seeing one another and talking to one another," said McDonald. "And you know it's been a few weeks now since she can come in here. So it's just a good time to be together again. Maybe we'll get to do more of it."