Story courtesy of Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative
Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) has provided three iPads to be used at Living Oaks and The Willows assisted living locations in Iola so residents can communicate with family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the onset of COVID-19, which tends to be more dangerous for the elderly, visitors were restricted from entering the two facilities. Only medically necessary personnel were being allowed into the facilities.
In an effort to have residents continue to communicate with family and friends, Heather Berg, assisted living administrator for Living Oaks and The Willows, reached out to members in the community in search of iPads the facilities could use.
Upon receiving that email, Lila Shower, vice president of accounting and finance for CWEC, immediately began the process of securing iPads for residents of Living Oaks and The Willows.
“The residents haven’t been allowed to see any of their family and they (staff) had the idea that possibly they could video conference the relatives for the residents so they could at least see each other,” Shower said, on why she worked to secure the iPads.
She added, “One of our seven principles is commitment to community and this is the perfect example to commitment to community. We wanted to help out our community and the residents of The Willows and Living Oaks.” Berg said both residents and family members of residents were excited to hear about the use of iPads to communicate during this time.
“We are getting a lot of positive feedback,” Berg said.
When a resident wants to use one of the iPads, everything is set up for them.
“By the time the resident actually is physically holding the iPad, their loved one is on the screen,” Berg said. “They’re happy to see someone that they love and care about. It’s been a good experience.”
Berg said she feels the use of the iPads has helped brighten the days for residents during this time.
She added that the use of the CWEC iPads is just one of many ways in which the community has stepped forward to help both facilities. This includes supportive emails from members of the community, people dropping things off, letters being submitted by members of the community, the local grocery store doing free deliveries, and family members taking part in window conversations.
“We’ve had a lot of community involvement, which has been very positive,” Berg said.