Connecting with loved ones in the hospital during the COVID-19 crisis

patient in hospital

For everyone’s safety, routine visiting at Covenant HealthCare has been suspended until the threat of COVID-19 has receded (with a few exceptions). But that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with the ones you love while they’re in the hospital. Technology has made it easier than ever to stay close while we stay safe.

Use an app to make a video call.  If your phone, tablet or laptop has a camera, then it’s likely that you have a built-in app for video calls.  Apple devices usually have FaceTime installed; Android devices have Google Duo.

Don’t have a built-in app? You can download one of these:

To connect, the person you are calling must be using the same app that you are. Text or call ahead of time to let them know you’ll be trying to connect. That way, you can avoid calling during a time when they are sleeping or receiving treatment.

All these apps allow multiple users to connect, so the whole family can join in and send their love.

If your loved one does not have a smartphone or tablet with them, they can request an iPad from Covenant (we have iPads equipped with FaceTime for patient use—we are still working on a solution for Android users). Learn more at https://www.covenanthealthcare.com/ch/visit-patients-virtually.

Call or text.If you don’t feel like setting up a video call (or if your loved one would rather not be on a video chat in their hospital gown), just call or text. In-room phones are available and equipped for long distance calls if needed. Quick texts of “I love you” or “I’m thinking of you” throughout the day can provide a morale boost without interrupting your loved one’s sleep or medical treatment. And texting a family photo or short video is a fun surprise guaranteed to raise their spirits.

Send an E-Greeting card. Covenant has a service that allows you to send a personalized electronic greeting to any patient. Just fill out the form online with your greeting, and a hospital volunteer will deliver your message.

Send an email.Writing a long email gives you the chance to remember all those things you keep forgetting on the phone. Your loved one can read it at their leisure—and re-read it when they’re feeling lonely. Tell some fun stories about what’s happening at home and be sure to sign off with lots of X’s and O’s.

It’s hard to be separated from the ones we love when they need us the most. But since staying away helps keep both you and them safe, it’s worth using a little creativity to make them feel loved and connected.

For more information on Covenant HealthCare and COVID-19, see our frequently asked questions.

Posted Date: 4/17/2020


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