Fairbanks Pioneer Home helps residents video chat with loved ones

Fairbanks As the Fairbanks Pioneer Home takes precautions to protect their residents from the spread of COVID-19, they are trying to keep morale up.

The Pioneer Home in Fairbanks is taking precautions to protect residents from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)

Fairbanks Pioneer Home Administrator Angie Howard told us “We have a lot of staff members [and] their outlook is great. They’re singing, they’re skipping, anything to entertain residents... really trying to fill that void as best we can for the residents here."

Howard says the only people allowed in the building now are staff and residents. They are also screening those who do come into the building, and following public health and CDC recommendations. “We know how important it is to have visitors and friends and family to see people who live here -- our residents,” said Howard.

Howard says they are checking in on the residents individually every day to make sure they are okay, and if there is anything staff can do for them. Staff is also getting creative with activities for the residents.

“[We're] trying to minimize any groups together, so our activity person is decorating one of the neighborhoods. We want life to still be regular, life to still happen. Knowing the residents [is important], and knowing what their interests are so when we do a task, if it’s putting the bulletin up, we can still have a resident come and help with that, [and] help with decorating. We are getting ready to put up springtime decorations to break up the monotony... as people feel the cabin fever now with the snow again, what brightness can we come [in] and put into the home?” said Howard.

Howard also says their foundation is buying iPads for the home to help residents video chat with their loved ones.

"It'll be much easier on families to know that their loved one here is doing okay, that they can talk to them and see them. For those residents that are sight-impaired, or hearing-impaired, we can help them as well. We can help them make phone calls to their families so that they keep in touch with whatever's going on in the life of their family," said Howard.

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