Sheffield care home residents use Skype to keep in touch with family during coronavirus pandemic

Elderly residents of a Sheffield care home have been learning how to use Skype to keep in touch with their loved ones amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

By Alana Roberts
Saturday, 2nd May 2020, 5:48 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 1:54 pm

Norton Lees Hall and Lodge Care set up the dedicated Skype connection last month after it introduced measures to restrict non-essential visitors to help minimise the spread of Covid-19.

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It was the brainchild of activities coordinator, Paul McCormick, and means that residents can now speak face-to-face with their families despite the lockdown.

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Norton Lees Hall and Lodge Care Home on Warminster Road

He has been working with residents to make sure they can operate the computer and use the video calling facility whenever they need it.

“It means a lot to me that our service users are still able to maintain a family connection during this uncertain time,” he said. “The list of service users families and friends who want to use this service is increasing on a daily basis. It gives me a feeling of achievement that this is growing within our home.”

The daughter of a resident said: “Making the decision to place mum in temporary care during the Covid-19 pandemic was a difficult one to make. My sister works as a Social Worker and had heard good things about Norton Lees.

“I live in Kent and usually speak to mum via FaceTime, once a week when she is with my sister.

A resident at Norton Lees Hall and Lodge Care Home using the Skype facility to chat with her daughter

“Mum isn’t really friends with modern technology! When I was told that Paul had set up this Skype account I was delighted as it means I can usually video call mum any weekday, sometimes several times a week.

“It’s given me and Mum an opportunity to see each other and it helps to keep mum happy seeing a familiar face. I’d say it’s improving mum’s mental well-being.”

Norton Lees Care Home is also keeping families and friends of residents updated throughout the pandemic with cards and photographs.

For residents without friends or family, staff are asking people to send letters and cards to help keep their spirits high – similar to a pen-pal scheme.

Those who want to get involved should contact 0114 258 6425 or send a letter to Norton Lees Lodge and Care Home, 156 Warminster Road, Norton Lees, Sheffield, S8 8PQ.

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