ALPHARETTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping families apart, especially when it comes to separating younger family members from those who are older and categorized as being more susceptible to the coronavirus.

At least one metro Atlanta assisted living facility is working on a way to make sure older family members can safely check in with others from time to time. 

“Our residents and visitors are not allowed to interact one on one or face-to-face. What we’ve been able to offer them is virtual visits through the windows and now we're able to offer them a virtual visit 6-feet apart,” said Ann Gernany from Arbor Terrace at Crabapple Senior. 

The visits are made possible by a new two-way communication technology launched by Eversound for family members who had not been able to spend time with their loved ones. And for those families, it’s making a world of difference.

“When I meet her out here she acts as if I’m not here and then as soon as I put the headset on she’s sort of perks up, she pays attention when I speak," said Martin Wolf who has been visiting his wife at Arbor Terrace at Crabapple Senior. "So I know she’s hearing everything, she even talks,” he continued.  

Since the pandemic, Wolf says he's had trouble interacting with his wife, but the Eversound technology amplifies the audio, making it possible to communicate when other technologies like the telephone has not worked well.

“For her it’s been tremendous. Myself, I have atrocious hearing and nothing helps, but for me it’s been great,” added Wolf.

Arbor Terrace at Crabapple officials say the benefits of the visits are far reaching.

“Engagement is one of the major components that helps all of us, not just seniors, it slows down that aging process with day-to-day interaction with staff. The day-to-day interaction with their loved ones is so critical to keeping their emotions at the very highest, keeping their cognitive awareness high,” added Gernany.

Officials tell CBS46 that following a successful test run of the program, they will now be implementing it at other locations.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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