CWEC donates use of iPads
Senior facility residents in Iola touch base with families
By Bert Lehman
Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative has provided three iPads to be used at Living Oaks and The Willows so residents at the assisted living locations in Iola 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 the facilities, reached out to the community in search of iPads they could use.
Upon receiving that email, Lila Shower, vice president of accounting and finance for CWEC, immediately began the process of securing iPads.
“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.
“One of our seven principles is commitment to community and this is the perfect example to commitment to community,” she said. “We wanted to help out our community and the residents of The Willows and Living Oaks.”
Berg said residents and their family members were excited to hear about the use of iPads to communicate during this time.
“We are getting a lot of positive feedback,” she said.
Everything is set up for residents that want to use the iPads.
“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 the iPads has helped brighten the days for residents and the iPad use is just one of many ways the community has stepped forward to help both facilities. This includes supportive emails, people dropping things off, letters from community members, free delivery from the local grocery store and family members taking part in window conversations.
“We’ve had a lot of community involvement, which has been very positive,” Berg said.