Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, families whose loved ones live in long-term care facilities have had to find ways to see them. North Central Planning and Development District’s Agency on Aging is helping those families by providing Chromebooks for Winona Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center and Vaiden Community Living Center.
Kelly Mann and Debra Ward accepted the Chromebooks on behalf of Winona Manor and VCLC. Winona Manor received four Chromebooks and VCLC received two. The book were delivered by the Area Agency on Aging District Ombudsman, Mary Smith.
Darlena Allen, the NCPDD Area Agency on Aging director, said the new Chromebooks will give nursing and personal care homes in the area a way to allow their residents to keep in touch with families and friends.
“Not only will they be used during the pandemic, but they will also be beneficial during the influenza season,” Allen said.
Smith said the new Chromebooks will also prevent residents from feeling isolated because of the pandemic.
“It will enable accessibility to the Ombudsman, as well as families, friends and acquaintances,” Smith said.
Allen said the funding for the Chromebooks came from a grant through the Mississippi Department of Human Services' Mississippi Access to Care (MAC) program.
She said the Chromebooks were the result of a collaboration between the agency and Three Rivers Planning and Development District in Pontotoc.
“Three Rivers MAC Division Director Bill Renick drew from the resources of MAC supplemental funding due to COVID-19 to explore innovative services through technology to allow nursing home and long-term care patients to communicate with family and friends and increase social engagement,” Allen said.
Steve Russell, Director of North Central Planning and Development said that the agency is delighted the two agencies could come together on this project.
"We are delighted that we could work together with Three Rivers PDD to make it easier for care home residents in our seven counties to communicate with their families and friends. This is especially crucial during these challenging times,” he said.