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Coronavirus: Manitoba seniors advocate offers tips on staying connected to long-term care residents

Self-isolation can be especially difficult for those in long-term care.
Self-isolation can be especially difficult for those in long-term care. Getty Images

Manitobans can find alternative ways to stay connected to seniors living in long-term care amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, says the executive director of the Manitoba Association of Senior Centres.

Connie Newman told 680 CJOB she has heard from people across the province sharing their concerns about not being able to see family or friends in long-term care during this crisis. Newman said she has three loved ones in long-term care herself and that the pandemic has made it more challenging to stay in touch.

“They’re very important and very dear to my heart,” she said.

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“I’m fortunate, I believe, and I think many out there are because two of the three are doing video chats on a regular basis, which does put us in front of the people that we find so very dear to us.

“Because they’re thinking outside of the box in the three places that I have to connect to, bouquets to them and thank you to them for doing what they’re doing because the last thing we want to do is bring the virus into a compromised situation in long-term care.”

READ MORE: Canada to provide more funding for seniors, vulnerable amid coronavirus pandemic — Trudeau

Newman also added that many in long-term care have underlying medical issues that put them at higher risk of complications from the novel coronavirus.

She said that while video chats are a great option where possible, she’s also taking the time while self-isolated to work on letters and cards to send via snail mail to people in care.

“Put something in front of them that’s special,” she said.

“Times are different today, and there’s not only people in long-term care who have extenuating circumstances.

“There are also people living in their own homes who are medically frail… and we have to think outside the box as to how we connect with them. I believe a picture is worth a thousand words.”

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Click to play video 'Residents at All Seniors Care facility compete in 2020 Senior Games' Residents at All Seniors Care facility compete in 2020 Senior Games
Residents at All Seniors Care facility compete in 2020 Senior Games