When our seniors need us most, communication is a godsend

Joanne Martin wants to help senior citizens living at the Carlyle Senior Care in Kingstree. What better way than to connect them to the outside world.

Martin has begun a fundraiser “Ringing for the Residents” with proceeds to go for the purchase of new iPad/Android devices/Tablets or old/unused cell phones/iPad/Android devices wiped of personal information to be used for virtual visits.

Any device that can access the Wi-Fi at the nursing home will suffice. Her goal is to provide Carlyle Senior Care with at least one device assigned to each room at the facility. A home health nurse, Martin said many former patients are staying there. “They are completely cutoff from the world,” she said.

Martin has had a close connection to the local facility. “I worked up there for years,” she said. “My mom was director of nurses at the nursing home for a hundred thousand years. I know how hard it is on most of them to be there because they can’t be at home and when they’re completely isolated like this, there’s failure to thrive and they start declining. They need stimulation to keep going.”

Administration at the facility has approved her request to start the fundraiser. Martin said the setup of the facility (a square with a courtyard in the center) eliminates the residents on the courtyard side from any contact with the outside world to include visits from family members/friends through a window or just seeing something as simple as cars passing by. “The residents are going through so much now during this time,” said Martin. “Being able to make and receive virtual calls would certainly make their days much brighter and their worlds much bigger while in quarantine.” She hopes she will be able to get enough devices so the residents won’t have to wait in line to use a device to call or receive calls from family members if there was a device assigned per room. “The devices could be used at their convenience without having to be disinfected and moved from room to room after being used,” she said. “I’m sure almost everyone has a few dollars to spare or an old device of some sort just lying around in the house collecting dust so let’s use them to help connect these moms, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and loved ones with the rest of the world.” Visit her Gofundme “Ringing for the Residents” page or visit First Citizens Bank where an account has been set up. Simply drive up or go inside and make your intentions known.