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With No Holiday Visitors Allowed Springfield Memory Care Facility Residents Take To ZOOM

Elder Health and Living Memory Care Village

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, visitors to senior care facilities are restricted. With the holiday season at hand, a memory care facility in Springfield is switching things up to keep residents connected.

Elder Health and Living Memory Care Village takes care of people with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. Medical Director Liz von Wellsheim said ending visits has been hard on their 95 residents -- especially during the holidays. But much to her surprise— many have taken to using Facetime and ZOOM.

“If you make an intentional visit with a family member and one of the residents,” said von Wellsheim, “and put headphones on them and they see their daughter and they’re talking to them and they can hear them and they’re looking at their face. And they’re touching the screen. I mean, it’s sheer joy.”

Von Wellheim said they’ll have to forego the traditional van rides to look at Christmas lights. This year, they’ll have a light show at their park. Then afterward, it’s hot cocoa and caroling, of course.

Elder Health and Living Memory Care Village has not been spared during the pandemic. The facility has seen two COVID-19 outbreaks since September and has lost residents to the virus. 

Credit Elder Health and Living Memory Care Village
Elder Health and Living Memory Care Village is home to 95 men and women with cognitive diseases. Staff members say winter holidays are important to them.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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