IG Wealth Management financial consultant Bob Piderman, left front row, consultant Lorne Doerkson and division director Ryan Brink donate two iPads to Cariboo Place. Accepting the donation are director of care, Marnie Brenner, back left, recreation co-ordinator Kristen Riddle and general manager Raj Salaria. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

IG Wealth Management Williams Lake gifts iPads to Cariboo Place for residents’ use

With long-term care homes on lockdown during COVID-19, residents visit family virtually

Two iPads donated to Cariboo Place will be used to keep residents in touch with their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

IG Wealth Management division director Ryan Brink and two other co-workers presented staff with the gifts on Tuesday, May 26.

“I have a client whose parent is in a long-term care home and this person went and checked on their parent every single day,” Brink said. “Now this client can’t go and meet with their ailing parent because of covid.”

With the iPad visits, family members can see if their parents are OK, he added.

“When I told this client we were getting the iPads, she was in tears because she was so happy she was going to be able to talk with her parent.”

Brink said IG Wealth Management was thinking of ways they could support the community in these times and originally wanted to give lunch to some of the health care workers.

Long-term care homes were at the top of the list, he added, but noted after he and some of his coworkers talked about it they decided they wanted to do something that would last longer than a lunch.

“Communication has been difficult for residents and the families of Cariboo Place, and we hope technology is a way to help that cause a little bit.”

Read more: Seniors staying safe, isolated at Cariboo Place in Williams Lake

Marnie Brenner, director of care at Cariboo Place, said one of the things they hear most is worry from families who cannot see their loved ones.

“We have had to lock our doors, per Interior Health direction, and we don’t let anybody in, ” Brenner said.

“Our staff changes on the first floor, go upstairs and work all day, and then come back down and change before they leave.”

Families can wave and talk to family members on the second floor patio, but letting them visit from the main floor patios is too great of a risk, Brenner added.

“You can be a carrier of covid and spread it without even knowing you are a carrier because you have no symptoms. As we know from the experiences down on the Coast and on the East Coast, the long-term care facilities are getting hit so hard by covid and there are horrendous situations.”

If Cariboo Place were to get a case of the coronavirus, Brenner said it would wipe out 50 per cent of the population easily.

Virtual visits are possible with iPads and that’s a wonderful option to be able to give the residents and their families, she added.

Cariboo Place general manager Raj Salaria said since they locked down on March 17 it has been difficult for families.

“At least with this technology they can talk to each other,” he said.

Recreation co-ordinator Kristen Riddle said there are virtual visits with families, even doctors, scheduled every day.

“These iPads are a great long-term tool to support our clients emotionally, as well as physically,” Riddle said. “Our clients are able to have virtual visits with family as well as physicians when physicians aren’t able to come in.”

IG Wealth Management consultant Lorne Doerkson expressed gratitude that the staff will show the residents how to use the iPads.

“We’re just three fellows doing something for our town, ” he added. “In our community when there are challenges, people come out and help. It’s great to live in a town that is supportive.”

Read more: #TellThemYouCare portal launched to support seniors during COVID-19


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