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Virtual Visiting brings joy to rest home residents - HBDHB

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A two-way partnership between Stortford Lodge Rotary club, and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board has brought virtual visitor technology to Napier’s Roseanne Retirement Home.

Stortford Lodge Rotarian and Hawke’s Bay DHB Board member Peter Dunkerley said Rotarians had cut firewood and sold it to raise money for the virtual visitor technology after learning how successful the benefits had been for patients and their families at Hawke’s Bay Hospital during Alert level 4 and 3 lockdowns.

Mr Dunkerley said the DHB’s Executive Director of Digital Enablement Anne Speden had presented to Rotary on the benefits of virtual visitor technology. Rotarians quickly recognised how good it would be for rest home residents to connect with family, who lived far away or who were unable to visit.

With the money raised the Rotary Club bought the equipment and the DHBs digital enablement team stepped in and provided the training and initial technical support to the rest home.

Roseanne’s Clinical Nurse manager Colleen White said the Virtual Visitor has been welcomed by residents who were now able to connect with families across New Zealand, as well as overseas.

"It’s been great to see the virtual visitor bringing lots of smiles to residents’ families as they are able to see their families faces instead of just hearing them over the phone - it’s been really special, " Mrs White said.

There have been further spin-off benefits, she said, including setting up virtual GP clinics for the residents, using the technology.

Stortford Lodge Rotary is looking to fund more of the same technology in other places and was thrilled it had been so successful and well received at Roseanne Retirement Home, Mr Dunkerley said.

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