Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Thanks to the inspired thinking and generosity of Jillian Summers and friends.
Social isolation and loneliness are major social, health and quality of life issues for older people in Canada, especially those living in long-term care. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers and family members were no longer able to visit loved ones at McCormick Home. This placed even greater pressures on those who put themselves at risk to provide care, keep residents engaged, and help fill the loneliness.
Jillian Summers understood the importance of keeping families connected and called the Foundation with an amazing idea of donating iPads to help facilitate virtual visits between residents and loved ones! Knowing how excited the team would be to receive this type of gift - Jillian reached out to her network, shared her goal, and inspired many friend's to support her efforts.
On April 7, Jillian delivered 6 iPads and a protective case for each and shared the following post on Instagram:
You can feel the deep sense of gratitude expressed by Tanya Pol, Administrator of McCormick Home who, on behalf of the team shared their thanks and appreciation for Jillian and her friends generosity.
By June 23, eight weeks since the pandemic began, we've been able to accommodate an incredible 1,172 virtual calls and messages sent to families via Skype, Facetime, or Zoom - WOW! Most visits are 30:00 minutes each, which is an incredible amount of resident and family engagement - 586 hours’ worth! New uses for the iPads have also been identified like, engaging in small group virtual live music sessions, providing church services, and even viewing travelogues for residents.
Today, family and residents are able to enjoy scheduled, socially distanced visits while following the government mandated safety measures. However, the virtual visits remain a very popular way for families to stay in touch, so much so that these type of visits have become part of our new normal.
Thank you Jillian Summers and friends for this inspirational gift! Your generosity plays a big role in helping make the McCormick Difference. Donations help provide the tools and resources required to help fulfill our mission of enhancing the quality of life for residents - everyday.