Nursing homes connect families with technology

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Two local long-term care facilities now have the opportunity to connect residents and their families who have been restricted from visiting due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thanks to a gift from The Commons, the Hibbard Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Hilltop Manor have new iPad 4 tablets to help residents see and talk to family using Zoom or other technology platforms. The tablets were purchased with a grant from Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation to help communities cope with the pandemic, and were presented to the facilities last week.


“I was just heartbroken at the thought of older people, who already often experience the sadness and fear of living away from loved ones and their community, now being unable to have in person visits,” said Dr. Lesley Fernow of The Commons. “I thought we had to do something to improve their lives and the lives of their families during this unpredictable and stressful time.”


Contributed photo
CONNECTING WITH FAMILY — Hibbard Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center resident Shirley Stratton looks at a new iPad 4. Thanks to a gift from The Commons, the Center and Hilltop Manor have new iPad 4 tablets to help residents see and talk to family.


She continued, “The long-term care population is often overlooked in community wellness efforts. Working together we can improve wellbeing for all people one at a time.” 


“These are a great way to help connect our residents and families at this difficult time,” said Hibbard Administrator Aaron Thomas. He added that the iPad 4 tablets are also very useful adjuncts to allow the attending medical provider to do telehealth visits with patients, ensuring more rapid and timely assessments as well as providing safety.

Despite being closed to the public, The Commons is active right now with its Community Pulling Together grocery delivery program and the Calling for the Common Good program, calling people who want to connect with a friendly voice. For more information call 207-343-3018 or email

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