April 22, 2020

Resources for Staying Connected Amid Hospital Restrictions

When a loved one is in the hospital, our natural instinct is to visit them in person and offer support. But in the midst of a global pandemic, that’s not always possible. Nearly all hospitals and medical facilities, including Baptist Health, are placing restrictions on who, if anybody, can visit. Thanks to modern technology, though, there are a lot of different ways to stay connected without having to put yourself, your loved one, and others at risk. 

Communicating with Hospitalized Loved Ones During COVID-19

Just because you can’t be there in person doesn’t mean that you can’t talk with them. If you want to communicate with someone who’s hospitalized during restricted visitation, you can:

  • Provide your loved one with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop and a charger. 
  • Call them or video chat on a regular basis. Doing this often and at scheduled times will help them (and you) feel connected even though you’re not physically together.
  • Share some of the things you’re watching, reading, or learning about, then talk about them when you call. 
  • Help them relax by recommending calming meditations or music that can be accessed online. 

Free Social Connection Options

FaceTime is a free way to connect face-to-face with your loved ones, but it’s only offered on iPhones, iPads, or Apple computers. Here are some other ways to connect and see each other which can be downloaded at the app store or Google Play:

  • Zoom. Used traditionally for business meetings, Zoom has become one of the go-to resources for family and friends to connect while practicing safe social distancing.
  • Skype. This is another free tool that can be used for video calls, chatting, or conference calls. 
  • Facebook. In addition to staying in touch through our individual feeds, options like Facebook Messaging and Watch Party make it easy to stay connected.
  • Houseparty. This is a video chat app that allows you to invite friends, play games, and share screens.

Get the Care You Need, When You Need it

We’re here for your health, no matter what comes our way. Schedule a Virtual Care video or eVisit and get the care you need from the comfort of home.

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Entertainment and Learning Resources for Patients Hospitalized During the Pandemic

Whether it’s you in the hospital or someone you care about, there are nearly infinite entertainment options available through a smartphone, tablet, or laptop:

  • Movies, TV, games, and videos.  Feel like watching a new release? Check out Apple TV or Amazon Prime for movies that have just left the theaters. Want to see the latest series that’s got everybody talking? Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix are great resources. If you’re not a member, now is the perfect time to join.
  • Music & podcasts. What works for long road trips and home isolation works just as well for those in the hospital. Streaming services, such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and others give you the ability to create personalized music stations and listen to podcasts on any topic you can imagine. Some of these services also offer free introductory periods, so you can enjoy them while you’re in the hospital and decide whether or not you want to keep them when you leave.
  • Museums. Want to see some of the most famous contemporary works of art from the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh? Take a virtual tour of MoMA. Feel like experiencing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States? Visit the Art Institute of Chicago. In fact, the Robb Report just published the links to 14 world-class museums that are offering virtual tours, which you can find here.
  • Online learning. If you’ve ever wanted to learn another language, take up coding, or just learn about something that interests you, now is the perfect time. Many universities, including Harvard, MIT, Yale, and others, offer free online courses for a variety of subjects that you can learn about here.
  • Online games. Games are a great way to pass the time and stay sharp. You can find anything from Mahjong, word games, to blackjack and everything in between here
  • Wellness and mental health. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has reviewed and approved of many apps that can be used for mental health, meditation, and more, which you can find here
  • Zoos. Sometimes it’s nice just to relax and look at some penguins, which is exactly what you can do if you visit The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The San Diego Zoo has multiple live cams that can let you look in on giraffes, butterflies, elephants, tigers, condors, apes, and more.

We’re fortunate to have access to these and multiple other entertainment and communication options to help stay connected during COVID-19, so make sure to take advantage of them if you or someone you love is currently in the hospital. Baptist Health is providing these resources for informational purposes only and has no affiliation with and doesn’t endorse any of the companies or organizations listed in this article. 

More Questions About COVID-19?

If you have more questions or concerns about COVID-19, go to BaptistHealth.com/covid-19 or visit other reputable sites, such as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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