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Meeting Through Glass

Coronavirus: Dutch care home reunites families in a glass pod - BBC News

This is what a family reunion looks like under lockdown. Hi, Mum. Hello! Hey. The way so many of us have been keeping in touch with each other just don’t make sense to everyone. Zooming and talking on iPad, for most residents, who all got Alzheimer’s or dementia in one stage or another, it’s too difficult. They don’t all understand. Real time is life. It’s a person they’re talking to. On the iPad, they think it’s a picture or a movie, so they don’t respond.
So for me, being able to really see her, the way she walks, just her whole body and her body language is incredible. Everybody prefers to really see and touch and feel and hug your mum, but it’s better than nothing. But how do you explain to an 85-year-old woman with dementia who just lost her husband and went into a nursing home two weeks before lockdown that the whole world has changed, not just hers? It’s happier that I can see them. But this is a strange world for me. So I have been always very happy. And now I’m a bit less happy.
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] This glass house offers a quick fix. A chance to remind relatives in real life that they haven’t been forgotten.

This clip shows the way a Dutch care home has attempted to allow families to reunite in a glass pod. Keeping in mind the scene depicted by the poem you have just read, consider the following questions.

  • Does the pod help?
  • What does it change?
  • Is it a satisfactory type of reunion?
  • What is still missing or lost?

Let’s now speak with Sharna again and hear her experiences of working with families through the pandemic.

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Grief, Loss, and Dying During COVID-19

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