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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, after weeks of no visits from family members, residents of the Elizabeth Seton Residence, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Halifax in Wellesley, are finally able to enjoy long awaited courtyard visits from their loved ones.
These visits are greatly enhanced with the use of new equipment bought with money received through a nearly $6,800 Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Grant. Residents and family members use newly acquired Pocketalker personal amplification devices and headphones to overcome the frustration of chatting with one another while wearing face masks and being socially distanced.
Nicki Lanceleve, activities director at the Elizabeth Seton Residence said, "The Pocketalkers enhance sound so the residents can hear through masks -- now family visits are so much more relaxed and enjoyable for all."
The grant has also enabled the facility to purchase webcams and speakers to help residents connect remotely with their families.
"Last week, one of our residents celebrated a milestone birthday with a Zoom call with her entire family on the call," said Lanceleve. "It was such an emotional moment -- there was hardly a dry eye in the house -- the grant we received made this happen. We are so grateful to the Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Fund and the community of Wellesley at large for this generous grant."
Communications have also been helped with the use of writing tablets purchased with the grant money.
"These tablets have been a great tool to help many of the departments communicate with the residents -- from letting them know what the entertainment and activities are for that day to discussions about their medication," Lanceleve added.
In addition to the communication equipment bought with the grant money, Elizabeth Seton Residence was able to purchase disinfecting equipment that helps disinfect large areas more thoroughly and in an efficient manner.
"The difference this equipment has made to the lives of our residents and staff is quite frankly, life-altering, at this time," said Lori Ferrante, administrator of the Elizabeth Seton Residence.