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

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

Almost every health region in the province saw an increase in overdose calls last year. (Blackpress files)
Overdose call numbers reach five-year-high in Maple Ridge.

BC Emergency Health Services responded to almost 500 local calls in 2020

Cam Blake released his first album called <em>Bad Vacation</em> on Jan. 15. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge musician releases first album

Cam Blake’s first album, Bad Vacation, released Jan. 15

Members of the Maple Ridge Disc Golf Club team up to update the “frolf” course at Thornhill Park. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge Disc Golf Club helps upgrade local course

Thornhill Park frisbee links usage has skyrocketed since pandemic

Cody Malawsky at the box lacrosse provincials in 2019. As the highly skilled player adds size he will dominate junior, predicts longtime coach Daren Fridge. (Tim McCormick/Special to The News)
Ridge Meadows Hospice Society volunteer Jill Constable. (Ridge Meadows Hospice Society/Special to The News)
Ridge Meadows Hospice celebrating 25 years

Celebratory White Dove Dinner raising money for support and grief programs

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read