Ridge Meadows Hospital employee (L) Jade Tomlinson helps (R) Leline Davis get the hang of an iPad. (Contributed photo)

Ridge Meadows Hospital gets funding for virtual volunteers

Maple Ridge Community Foundation and federal funds help hospital volunteers access iPads

Being a senior in a hospital is a nerve-wrecking ordeal at the best of times.

When a patient is stuck in one during a world-wide pandemic – where visitor restrictions are leaving them lonely, isolated, and scared – it can be a nightmare.

Debbie Kennedy from Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation said one of the most significant challenges is the issue of patient communications.

“One of the things that the staff really notice, is even a virtual visit can make a huge difference for the patient,” she said.

“They’re often calmer, and less anxious, and that just makes for a better patient experience.”

The hospital foundation teamed up with Maple Ridge Community Foundation and the federal Emergency Community Support Fund to see if they could remedy the situation.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Community Foundation launches weekly online trivia night

“We applied for funding for 12 iPads,” Kennedy said, pointing out while restrictions on visitors still exist, volunteers will keep the iPads at home and communicate with patients, offering a social connection.

They’re calling it the Virtual Volunteer program, and are hoping it provides a boost for senior patients who might feel isolated within the hospital.

“Benefits include an increase in self-esteem and morale, a stimulation of community connection outside the hospital walls, promotion of social support and the opportunity to create friendships which provides overall improvement of the patient experience,” Kennedy said.

She added when volunteers are allowed back on site, they will use the iPads to help the elderly patients set up virtual visits with their family and friends.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Hospitalsmaple ridgevolunteers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Police have Maple Ridge hotel locked down

A large contingent of Mounties are at the Art Infiniti Hotel on Lougheed Highway

Flames honour their best from last season

Maple Ridge’s Amsler the MVP and team scoring leader

Q&A with Premier John Horgan in Maple Ridge

Talks health care, COVID-19 and Canucks

Maple Ridge food bank receives $10,000 donation

Friends In Need Food Bank received cheque from Ironworkers Local 97

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Construction underway on Langley’s new hospice residence

The new 15-bed facility is slated for completion in summer 2021

Most Read